Eintracht Frankfurt, champion of the Europa League

Eintracht Frankfurt, champion of the Europa League

Eintracht Frankfurt, champion of the Europa League
The Eintracht Frankfurt players celebrate with the trophy after beating Glasgow Rangers in the Europa League final played this Wednesday at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán stadium in Seville. EFE/José Manuel Vidal.

Eintracht Frankfurt was proclaimed champion of the 2022 Europa League this Wednesday and achieved glory again, 42 years after its first and until this Wednesday only European title in the old UEFA Cup (1980), by beating in the round penalties against Glasgow Rangers with a decisive shot from Colombian Rafael Santos Borré.


After a final that ended 1-1 in regulation time and in extra time, with goals from Nigerian Joe Aribo in minute 57 for the Scots and Borré himself for Eintracht in minute 69, the Colombian striker converted the decisive penalty (5- 4) after Rangers’ Welshman Aaron Ramsey missed the only shot of the shootout, unleashing euphoria in the German fans after a very close and competitive final.

Two historic clubs and eager for victory were measured, Austrian coach Oliver Glasner’s Eintracht, after eliminating West Ham in the semifinals, 42 years after their only European title (the 1980 UEFA Cup), and Rangers, who beat German Leipzig before the final, just half a century after the only time, likewise, in which they lifted a trophy in Europe (the 1972 Cup Winners’ Cup).

The tide of fans that Seville took for this final, estimated at more than 100,000 fans from both teams and well over half without a ticket as the capacity of the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán was limited to 40,000, gave way to football on a hot afternoon , with about 31 degrees of temperature, for a height duel.

It was a clash between sets with different styles. Eintracht, with a greater taste for the touch when it comes to creating up and accumulating many people in their offenses, came out with more momentum than Rangers of the Dutch coach Giovanni Van Bronckhorts, an old acquaintance in Spain after passing through Barcelona, a team more given to attacking from safety and control, with their full-backs, the Englishman James Tavernier and the Croatian Borna Barisic, very incisive.

Eintracht Frankfurt, champion of the Europa League
Graphic: SofaScore.com

Even start

The Germans, after a more even start, put more intensity into it, were more faithful to their game and looked harder for the rival goal, which resulted in several options that scared Allan McGregor such as a shot by Japanese Kamada who, when edge of the first quarter of an hour, the veteran Scottish goalkeeper cleared.

McGregor also responded well to Swiss Sow’s subsequent attempt on the rebound, blocking his shot at a stage in which Rangers were very uncomfortable at the insistence of those from Frankfurt, with two actions almost in succession on a raise by Knauff’s side, deflected by the Scottish goalkeeper, and again by Sow, who shot high.

After the halfway point of the first half, the Glasgow team overcame the greatest German push and also warned with a great shot from Nigerian striker Joe Aribo, who unsuccessfully sought goalkeeper Kevin Trapp’s right squad from outside the area, although the ball went wide slightly off at 26 minutes.

Eintracht did not flinch and continued to take the initiative, although without becoming harassment. One of his most vertical men, the Serbian left winger Filip Kostic, tried again without hitting his shot just over half an hour, while Rangers woke up with a timid reaction with which, except for a header from Englishman John Lundstram to 9 of the break that Trapp sent to a corner, he didn’t scare too much either.

After the restart, the German team came out determined, making it clear that they wanted to go for the match, and it was the ‘Eagles’, with more criteria in attack and a football between elaborate and vertical, who continued to disturb the Scottish goal with a shot of the Danish Jesper Lindstrom, after stirring at the edge of the area, which hit a defender.

Still, the Rangers, all heart and claw, never wavered. A bad shot from the left by the English winger Ryan Kent, who, alone, spoiled a good option, was the prelude to the first goal of the match, scored for the Glasgow side by their attacking reference, the Nigerian Joe Aribo, at 57 minutes .

The fast and elusive African striker took advantage of a chain error from the ‘puritans’ defense, when Sow headed backwards first and the Brazilian central defender Tuta slipped, in an action in which he was injured and for which the Japanese Hasebe replaced him , to face Trapp and beat him with a centered and low left foot.

Eintracht Frankfurt, champion of the Europa League
Graphic: SofaScore.com

After the 0-1, Eintracht took a step forward. He had no other choice and, after a serious warning from the Japanese Kamada, who sent the ball too high in a mistake by the Scottish defense to a pass from the German Sebastian Rode, the Colombian Rafael Santos Borré did not forgive two minutes later and equalized with a goal from rogue, anticipating the centrals and putting his leg to make it 1-1 after a center with a lot of sense from the Serbian Kostic.

The technicians moved the bench. The Norwegian Hauge entered for Lindstrom at Eintracht and two other midfielders, the Northern Irishman Davis and the Zambian Sakala, for Jack and Wright at Rangers. Both teams lacked clarity and courage in a final stretch in which the Scots perhaps controlled the ball more, although nothing prevented them from going into extra time.

With both teams heavily punished by the effort and the heat, neither took risks. At Eintracht Borré, Hrustic and Jakic tried it; and at Rangers, a shot from the Croatian Barisic forced Trapp to intervene, who, almost at the end, saved his team twice by taking a ball almost at close range from Kent and a direct free kick from Tavernier, which led to a penalty shootout in which honor and glory were won by the Germans.

– Data sheet:

1 – Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp; Tuta (Hasebe, m.58), Touré, N’Dicka (Lenz, m.100); Knauff, Sow (Hrustic, d.105), Rode (Jakic, d.89), Kostic; Lindström (Hauge, d.71), Kamada; I deleted.

1 – Rangers: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Bassey, Barisic (Roofe, d.117); Jack (Davis, d.74), Lundstram; Wright (Sakala, d.74) (Ramsey, d.117), Kamara (Arfield, d.91), Kent; Aribo (Sands, d.101).

Goals: 0-1, M.57: Aribo. 1-1, M.69: I erased.

Penalty shootout: 0-1, Tavernier. 1-1, Lenz. 1-2, Davis. 2-2, Hrustic. 2-3, Arfield. 3-3, Kamada. 3-3, Ramsey (for Trapp). 4-3, Kosti. 4-4, Roofe. 5-4, Rafael Borre.

Referee: Slavko Vincic (Slovenia). Rangers admonished Aribo (m.62) and Wright (m.73).

Stadium: Final of the Europa League played at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán stadium in Seville before 40,000 spectators, who filled the stands.

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