Eintracht Frankfurt reached the quarter-finals of the European League for the second time in the club’s history in an exciting way. Thanks to a last-minute goal by Martin Hinterger (120+1), the ninth-placed Bundesliga side tied 1-1 (0-1, 0-0) against Betis Sevilla in the second leg of the Round of 16 on Thursday. Renovation of 25,000 spectators. Borja Iglesias (90) had given the Spanish club the lead and initially equalized Frankfurt’s 2-1 win from the first leg last week. The quarter-final matches will take place on 7 and 14 April. The draw for the quarter-finals and semi-finals will take place on Friday in Nyon. RB Leipzig also reached the quarter-finals of the German Bundesliga, as the Saxons bid farewell after disqualifying opponents Spartak Moscow.
Frankfurt coach Oliver Glasner documented in the same eleventh start for the fourth consecutive time in the European Cup duel. The Austrian sent exactly eleven players to the field who started in the Bundesliga victories against Hertha BSC and VFL Bochum and in the first leg 2-1 in Seville. On the other hand, Betis coach Manuel Pellegrini made four changes in the starting lineup compared to the first duel eight days ago. In goal, Rui Silva surprisingly replaced Claudio Bravo, who was very strong in the first leg, former Dortmund player Marc Bartra and Juan Miranda moved to the defense line and the 40-year-old Joaquin was supposed to strengthen the attack.
But the hosts from Frankfurt were able to achieve more in attack, and they had to take the lead after less than fifteen minutes. After a sweet pass from Djibril Sue, BVB-loan Ansgar Knauf was suddenly alone in front of Silva – but the 20-year-old slammed the ball into the crossbar (14), the keeper slightly cleared. Bigger opportunities were rare. Shortly before the break, Knauf once again engaged in a huge opportunity. A pass in the middle found a free-standing Raphael Bure, who pushed the ball past the goal to the left (43′). But he didn’t need to worry for long: Bure was clearly offside when he passed Knauf’s pass.
Betis in the fifth La Liga table had to start in the second half due to the defeat in the first leg and also put Saint-Germain under pressure at the start of the second 45 minutes. However, the defense around fan favorite Martin Hinter remained unstable and the Frankfurt attack tried to make an initial decision: a free kick from Philippe Kostik (63th place) only hit the post. And Frankfurt had to continue to shiver in order to advance after the second leg: Kevin Trapp prevented 0-1 after Juanmi’s header with a global save (65). Frankfurt had more attacks by the Spaniards in control easily and their sights were in the quarter-finals – until the 90th minute: SGE couldn’t clear the ball on the left flank. The benefactor was Nabil Fekir, who played a pass in the middle and found Borja Iglesias who slipped into the net to score. An avoidable goal.
The goal led to extra time due to the abolition of the away goals rule by UEFA at the start of the season, with the two teams largely neutralizing each other. Frankfurt were very lucky at the start of the second half of extra time: with Borja Iglesias heading a skewed cross to the crossbar (109), Martin Hintergerr finally rocked the field with his stoppage-time goal (120′ + 1′).