The final of the Europa League between Eintracht Frankfurt and Glasgow Rangers will only be decided on penalties – with the better end for the Bundesliga club. Kevin Trapp becomes the final hero.
Frankfurt celebrations in Seville – from players and fans
“Enjoy this evening, enjoy the atmosphere!” Sebastian Vettel gave this to the players of Frankfurt Eintracht via video message: to the final of the Europa League in Seville against Glasgow Rangers. Four-time Formula 1 world champion Vettel is an honorary member of the Bundesliga soccer team. “I'll definitely keep my fingers crossed and believe in you. Have fun!”, the 34-year-old racing driver added.
Vettel didn't say the word “victory”. Maybe he knew it was going to be a knife-edge finale. It was only decided on penalties – with the better end for Eintracht, who prevailed 5:4. Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp saved Rangers captain Aaron Ramsey's penalty, and all five Frankfurt shooters scored. After 90 and 120 minutes it was 1-1 (0-0, 1-1). This is the second time that Eintracht has won a European title after winning the UEFA Cup in 1980.
Eintracht President grumbles about the “Mickey Mouse Stadium”
The atmosphere at the sold out Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan with 44,000 spectators was as great as Vettel had predicted. The powerful-voiced fans of both clubs caused goose bumps. Only 10,000 fans of both clubs got tickets. Tens of thousands of other football fans from Frankfurt and Glasgow cheered on outside the stadium in Seville. “There are 190,000 fans that we can't get into this Mickey Mouse Stadium,” complained Eintracht President Peter Fischer.
Borré equalizes Frankfurt's deficit
Those lucky enough to get a ticket saw a superior Frankfurt side in the first half, who created more and better chances than their Glasgow opponents. Only the opening goal did not want to succeed. As is often the case in football, the goal fell on the other side. Englishman Joe Aribo completed a quick attack to make it 1-0 (57th minute) for the Scots, who had previously eliminated Bundesliga clubs Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig. The Eintracht defense did not look good when they conceded.
Joe Aribo celebrates Glasgow Rangers opening goal
But the people of Frankfurt didn't give up. They had scored in every game of the Europa League season and the final was no exception. Rafael Borré scored the well-deserved equalizer (69'). The 26-year-old Colombian striker, who joined Frankfurt last summer, had already scored the decisive goal in the 1-0 win over West Ham United in the semi-final second leg of Eintracht.
The pictures look alike – Frankfurt's Rafael Borré also celebrates with a big heart
It was a tight game with both teams not fighting each other gave. That also applied to extra time, after 90 minutes it was still 1-1. And the fans from Frankfurt and Glasgow kept singing while the Eintracht and Rangers players alternately suffered from cramps as the game went on. Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp saved Frankfurt in the penalty shoot-out with two brilliant saves – and became a hero there.