Disappointing Eintracht Frankfurt fails in the Conference League

Eckert Ayensa scores to win


Disillusionment instead of a magical European night: Eintracht Frankfurt has already failed in the first knockout round of the Conference League. The Bundesliga club lost the playoff second leg against Union Saint-Gilloise 1-2 (0-0) on Thursday and was eliminated after the 2-2 draw in the first leg.

In front of 57,300 fans, the Hessians put on a disappointing performance in the duel with the league leaders from Belgium led by German coach Alexander Blessin and now have to concentrate entirely on the league. Cameron Puertas (47th minute) and former Ingolstadt player Dennis Eckert Ayensa (80th) sealed the defeat of the 2022 Europa League winner with their goals, for which junior Dina Ebimbe (88th) only managed to catch up.

Unlike in the first duel a week ago, when Eintracht were already leading 2-0 after ten minutes, the Belgians were not surprised this time. Although the Hessians tried to control the game from the start, they hardly posed any danger. On the contrary: the guests created the first chances. First, Eintracht goalkeeper Kevin Trapp had to stretch a lot to deal with a long-range shot from Koki Machida, then a sharp cross from Alessio Castro-Montes whizzed just past the far post.

After a good quarter of an hour, Eintracht celebrated the supposed opening goal, but the shooter Fares Chaibi was offside when Aurelio Buta passed the ball. But there wasn’t much more to be seen from the home team on the offensive because there was a lack of creative ideas and the necessary precision. So a set piece in added time in the first half had to serve as the home team’s first good opportunity of the game. Chaibi failed with a direct free kick from the strongly reacting guest goalkeeper Anthony Moris.

Toppmöller to Reimann: Eintracht Frankfurt’s coach of the last 20 years

Dino Toppmöller | since 2023

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33 games | 1.58 points on average
As of: February 16, 2024

Oliver Glasner | 2021 to 2023

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97 games | 1.51 points on average

Adi Hütter | 2018 to 2021

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141 games | 1.65 points on average

Niko Kovac | 2016 to 2018

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91 games | 1.54 points on average

Armin Veh | 2015 to 2016

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27 games | 1.00 points on average

Thomas Schaaf | 2014 to 2015

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36 games | 1.28 points on average

Armin Veh | 2011 to 2014

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119 games | 1.60 points on average

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7 games | 0.43 points on average

Michael Skibbe | 2009 to 2011

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67 games | 1.33 points on average

Friedhelm Funkel | 2004 to 2009

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194 games | 1.35 points on average

Willi Reimann | 2002 to 2004

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71 games | 1.41 points on average

After the change, Frankfurt was caught off guard. Just over 60 seconds had just played when the guests cheered. Mohammed Amoura passed to Puertas, who gave Trapp no ​​chance with a well-placed shot from 16 meters. The Hessians’ defense seemed to still be thinking in the dressing room.

Now unity was required – but there was initially no reaction. The attacks were far too static, so that the visitors’ defense was able to regroup again and again. Coach Dino Toppmöller reacted after an hour and brought in two fresh offensive players, Hugo Ekitiké and Dina Ebimbe.

But the Belgians still had the better chances. After a great counterattack, Puertas was free again, but this time Trapp was able to fend off the Spaniard’s shot and keep the hope of a turnaround alive. With 13 minutes left, Niels Nkounkou had the chance to equalize, but Moris brilliantly parried the Frenchman’s header. Just 120 seconds later, Eckert made the decision with a dry shot into the corner. Dina Ebimbe’s late header goal didn’t change that.

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