Takashi Inui missed a host of chances in the opening 45 minutes, but just as the home crowd were becoming tetchy in the second period, Stephan Schröck headed home to open the scoring, with Constant Djakpa bending in a free-kick to crown the victory.
Eintracht’s home European form continued to raise questions as to why domestic form has been so patchy at the Commerzbank Arena, where they are still without a win in the Bundesliga. Yet they began the game well, with Inui and his support on left, Djakpa, hugely involved in the play. The latter sent in an excellent cross in the 21st minute which evaded Tranquillo Barnetta by inches, moments after Schröck had teed up Jan Rosenthal, who could only blaze his shot over the bar.
The visitors showed few signs of picking up their first-ever win on German soil as the half progressed, with Frankfurt seeing plenty of the ball and almost capitalising through Inui, who was put through one-on-one in the 38th minute but couldn’t get enough elevation on his chipped effort. Schröck and Inui again almost sealed Eintracht’s superiority as the half came to a close, but both lacked the necessary composure in front of goal.
Flanks seal the win
The story looked set to repeat itself, as just after the second half began, Inui was through and denied by Dionisios Chiotis in a one-on-one. Djakpa kept up the pressure from the left, hitting the side netting after 51 minutes, but APOEL were making ground of their own and Brazilian midfielder Vinicius forced Felix Wiedwald to produce a superb reaction save to deny his header.
When Frankfurt’s opener eventually came in the 68th minute, it was unsurprisingly from the left. Another pinpoint Djakpa cross eluded the Cypriot defence and Schröck was lurking at the back post to head home. The Ivorian was then not to be denied the goal his performance deserved, bending in a free-kick with ten minutes left to close Frankfurt’s group stage on a high. They qualify as Group F winners and their challenge now is to reproduce their European home strength on a domestic stage.
Eintracht Frankfurt: Wiedwald - Schröck, Celozzi, Anderson, Djakpa - Russ, Flum - Rosenthal, Barnetta (Kittel, 61'), Inui (Bakalorz, 78') - Lakic (Joselu, 69')
APOEL FC: Chiotis - Guilherme, Antoniades (Christian, 64'), Borda, Artymatas - Charalambides (Manduca, 46'), Alexandrou - Morais (Vincius, 46'), Solomou, Sheridan - Sotiriou
Goals: 1-0 Schröck (67'), 2-0 Djakpa (77')