Frankfurt have won the Europa League trophy in their first appearance at a European final for the first time in 42 years! It took a nervy penalty shootout to decide the champions with Borre scoring the winning penalty.
The Germans fell behind few minutes after the restart when Joe Aribo capitalised on a slip from their defense to slot home. But they equalised in the 69th minute with a sublime goal from striker, Rafael Santos Borre.
The final went to exra time after both sides could not provide a difference in 90 minutes.
Eintracht Frankfurt may have finished in the bottom half of the Bundesliga table this season but they too have punched above their weight by knocking out Barcelona and West Ham to reach their first European final in 42 years
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Penalties. Here we go.
Final 15 Minutes
We are back for the final 15 minutes, a penalty shootout waits at the end of this half if either side do not get a breakthrough.
HT: Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Rangers
Sakala knocks the ball past Lenz, cynicially brought down. Not sure how that isn’t a yellow card.
And that’s half-time in extra-time… it’s still level!
Just 15 minutes between these two sides and penalties. The Europa League final is going down to the wire!
We’re back under way in Seville. How do you see this going? Will we have a winner before penalties?
Full Time – Goal! Frankfurt 1-1 Rangers
We’re heading to extra-time and possibly a penalty shootout.
Goal! Frankfurt 1-1 Rangers
Frankfurt have finally found a way through. Kostic whips a delicious low cross to the edge of the six-yard box and Borre gets in between the two Rangers centre-backs to poke beyond McGregor.
Goal! Frankfurt 0-1 Rangers
It’s ecstasy for those travelling Scottish fans as Rangers take the lead! It’s a nightmare for Frankfurt centre-back Tuta as he slips and hits the floor when a long ball is played over the top. The slip leaves Aribo in on goal and he makes no mistake with a calm left-footed finish into the bottom corner.
Penalty shout for Frankfurt. Goldston puts his foot out and appears to clip Kostic after the ball has gone away from both of them inside the penalty area.
It’s a heart in mouth moment for Rangers fans but VAR does not feel it was clear and obvious.
We are back for the second half! Who is going to be the matchwinner in this Europa League final? It’s there for the taking.
John Lundstram avoided an early red card in the Europa League final despite Sebastian Rode requiring medical treatment following a boot to the head. Just seven minutes into Rangers’ European showpiece against Frankfurt, Lundstram raised his boot and left Rode with a cut to the head that had to be bandaged.
However, the former Sheffield United midfielder was not booked due to Rode dipping his head moments before contact was made. The 31-year-old subsequently changed kit with his original shirt covered in blood. Despite appeals from the Frankfurt bench for Slavko Vincic to show a red card, a VAR review conducted by Pol van Boekel deemed no action necessary.
An entertaining opening 45 minutes in the Europa League Final! Allan McGregor impressively denied Ansgar Knauff, Joe Aribo’s long-range curler was just wide of the post, John Lundstram saw his header tipped over. It is going to be a big second half.
Stats so far…
What a Finale
The stadium in Seville looks absolutely incredible. Just wall to wall blue and white fans. UEFA really won the lottery with Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt reaching the final.
Frankfurt 0-0 Rangers
Aribo curls an effort at goal but it’s just wide. The opening 30 minutes have been nervy.
Red Card Call?
Oh dear, this doesn’t look good. Lundstram raises his foot up high to try and win the ball and catches Frankfurt defender Rode on the head. He has a nasty cut on his forehead and the Frankfurt bench are calling for a red card.
It seems as though VAR have had a look and deemed that no action needs to be taken. His foot was high but Rode’s head also came down to get to the ball. Would have been very harsh to send him off. Lucky to get away without a caution, though. Rode changes his shirt before continuing such is the blood all over his kit.
We are underway in the Europa League final! History awaits for Eintracht Frankfurt or Rangers.
The Atmosphere is Electrifying!
The Europa League final is all set for a cracking atmosphere this evening!
Touré replaces Hinteregger for Frankfurt as Lindstrøm returns in place of Hauge
Rangers coach Van Bronckhorst goes with the same XI as in the semi-final. As expected the fit again Roofe has to be content with a place on the bench, meaning that Aribo starts in attack.
Quest for European Glory
Triumph in the second-tier competition in the Spanish city of Seville will also guarantee the winner an automatic spot in the group stage of next season’s Champions League.
It will be Frankfurt’s first European final since beating Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1980 in an all-German matchup in the UEFA Cup, the predecessor to the Europa League.
Rangers was close to European glory when it played in the UEFA Cup final in 2008, but it lost to Zenit St. Petersburg. The Scottish club is looking for its first European trophy since earning the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972.
Both clubs have huge fan bases, and tens of thousands are expected to swarm into southern Spain this week to try to see their team succeed again, prompting concern from local authorities and UEFA.
There had been fan violence involving visiting fans in Seville when local clubs Sevilla and Real Betis hosted matches earlier in the competition. Before the semifinals between Frankfurt and West Ham in Germany, more than 30 arrests were made after supporters of both clubs clashed in several locations in Frankfurt.
Fans of the German club also attracted headlines when more than 30,000 made their way into the Camp Nou in Barcelona for the second leg of the quarterfinals. UEFA has asked for fans without tickets not to travel to Spain for Wednesday’s final, and warned about the dangers of purchasing tickets on the secondary market.
More than 40,000 seats will be available at Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium, but only about 10,000 tickets were allocated to each club. Sevilla city officials planned to open fan zones to accommodate those not able to make it to the game.
The Run to the Finals
The match will pit two physical and high-intensity teams with impressive runs to the final.
Rangers, led by captain and top scorer James Tavernier, lost its first two group games but eventually gained momentum. It will be boosted by having already eliminated two German clubs — Borussia Dortmund in the first knockout round and Leipzig in the semifinals.
Frankfurt, led by veteran goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, made it to the final unbeaten after eliminating some strong opponents — Real Betis in the round of 16, Barcelona in the quarterfinals and West Ham in the semi-finals. Frankfurt is trying to become the third unbeaten team to win the title in the Europa League era, after Chelsea in 2019 and Villarreal in 2021.
The last encounter between the two clubs was painful for Rangers. The Scottish club conceded six goals in each of the two legs of the European Cup semi-finals in 1960, being deprived of an opportunity to play a home final in Glasgow. Frankfurt went on to lose the final to Real Madrid 7-3.
Frankfurt hasn’t made it back to Europe’s top club competition since that final, while Rangers made its last appearance in the group stage of the Champions League in the 2010-11 season.
The last time the UEFA Cup final was played in Seville, in 2003, Rangers’ Scottish rival Celtic lost the title to José Mourinho-coached Porto.