Sunday, November 27, 2022

Frankfurt to face Rangers in UEFA Europa League final

Eintracht Frankfurt overpowered 10-man West Ham United 1-0 (3-1 on aggregate) and advanced into the Europa League final thanks to the sole goal from Rafael Santos Borre in the second leg of the semifinal. While John Lundstram struck 10 minutes from time to give Rangers a 3-1 win over RB Leipzig and send them into the Europa League final 3-2 on aggregate after a see-saw clash at a rocking Ibrox on Thursday.
On Thursday night, both teams started with a shock into the encounter as Frankfurt lost its veteran defender Martin Hinteregger to a hamstring injury in the seventh minute before West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell received his marching orders 10 minutes later following a professional foul.
Filip Kostic almost opened the scoring, but the subsequent free-kick went just wide of the right post, Xinhua reports. However, Frankfurt benefitted from its numerical advantage in the 26th minute when Ansgar Knauff had all-time on the right-wing to set up for Borre, who made no mistake and tapped home Knauff’s square pass from close range.
The hosts controlled the proceedings on the pitch without doing much damage, but they were lucky in the closing stages of the first half as Evan Ndicka cleared a West Ham free-kick from Jarrod Bowen off the goal line.
After the restart, the “Eagles” started brightly into the second half as Kostic unleashed a dangerous effort from 25 metres.
As the match progressed, West Ham took over but lacked in accuracy in Frankfurt’s final third.
West Ham kept Frankfurt’s defence busy but that also opened space for Frankfurt’s counterattacks as Kostic rattled the side netting with 74 minutes gone.
The visitors increased the pressure in the closing stages, knowing that two goals would force Frankfurt into overtime.
However, Frankfurt’s defense stood firm and secured their first European final since 1980. They will face Glasgow Rangers in Sevilla on May 18.
Rangers fight back to reach Europa League final
Goals from James Tavernier, Glen Kamara and Lundstram ensured Rangers moved to the final for the first time since 2008, where they will face Eintracht Frankfurt, bidding to win a second European trophy 50 years after the 1972 Winners’ Cup.
Captain Tavernier opened the scoring in the 18th minute, becoming the Europa League’s top scorer this season with his seventh goal, before midfielder Kamara’s long-range effort six minutes later extended the lead.
Leipzig, who won the first leg 1-0, hit back when forward Christopher Nkunku received a perfect cross from Angelino to score in the 70th minute but Rangers claimed the vital goal when a defensive mix-up after a corner allowed Lundstram to sweep the ball home.
Frankfurt are 11th in the Bundesliga and Rangers have already knocked out the German league’s second-placed Borussia Dortmund and fifth-placed Leipzig this season.

Must Read