Eintracht Frankfurt’s 42-year wait for a European title has ended after a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Rangers in the Europa League final.
- Victorian Adjin Hrustic scored one of the five penalties to help Frankfurt to victory
- It is the first time the club has won a European title since 1980
- The victory means Frankfurt will compete in the Champions League next season
Australian star Ajdin Hrustic successfully converted his penalty shot as Rafael Borré converted the decisive kick, giving the German club its first European trophy since the 1980 UEFA Cup, a predecessor to the Europa League.
The win also secures a first appearance in the Champions League next season for Frankfurt.
Kevin Trapp had already made a key save in the final minutes of extra time, before the veteran goalkeeper used his left leg to stop Aaron Ramsey’s penalty in the shootout, setting off huge celebrations by Frankfurt’s “white wall” of fans behind the opposite goal.
There were also wild celebrations back in Germany as Frankfurt fans packed the club’s stadium to watch the final.
The match ended 1-1 after regulation and extra time. Joe Aribo gave Rangers the lead in the 57th minute and Borré equalized for Frankfurt in the 69th.
Ramsey, the former Arsenal and Juventus midfielder, entered the match in the final minutes of extra time to be in the shootout.
Christopher Lenz, Hrustic, Daichi Kamada and Filip Kostic converted the penalties for Frankfurt, while James Tavernier, Steven Davis, Scott Airfield and Kemar Roofe found the net for Rangers in the shootout.
Rangers had been trying to win their first European title since lifting the trophy of the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972. The Scottish club also lost to Zenit St Petersburg in the 2008 UEFA Cup.
Frankfurt went undefeated throughout the entire Europa League campaign and will return to the continent’s top club competition for the first time since 1960, when it lost in the European Cup final to Real Madrid in Glasgow.
The game had been mostly even, with each club enjoying small spells of dominance until a mistake by Brazilian Frankfurt defender Tuta, who tripped while trying to chase down a routine back header, allowing Aribo to speed past him to open the scoring at Sevilla’s Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium by calmly sending a low shot past Trapp.
Frankfurt equalised 12 minutes later with Borré sliding in between two defenders to convert a cross by Kostic from the left flank. The Colombia forward came from behind central defender Calvin Bassey to send the ball past veteran goalkeeper Allan McGregor.
There was fan violence outside the stadium before the match, with supporters from both clubs throwing chairs and tables at each other.
Five German fans were detained the night before after a confrontation with police. More than 150,000 fans came to the southern Spanish city, most of them without tickets for the final at the 43,000-capacity stadium.