The DFB Pokal kicked off this weekend and it’s produced a few brilliant nail biting matches, unfortunately for the underdog’s the bigger team’s are failing to get into the spirit of the cup and there hasn’t been too many upsets.
One match that could provide one this Sunday was at the MDCC-Arena where 3. Liga side Magdeburg hosted Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt. The hosts entered the game in 15th place in the league after two defeats and a brilliant 3-0 victory over Paderborn. They will have their work cut for themselves as Frankfurt come to town and will look to save themselves from embarrassment ahead of the Bundesliga kick off next weekend.
The opening few minutes of the game saw both team’s wrestle for possession, it was the Bundesliga side Frankfurt that were edging things as they looked more comfortable on the ball. After seven minutes the away side took the lead, Omar Mascarell played an excellent long ball over the top to Branimir Hrgota and the young Swede brilliantly brought the ball down before sending two defenders sliding past him and smashing the ball past Leopold Zingerle.
The home side didn’t crumble as many would’ve expected when they went behind instead they looked more threatening. Soon after going behind they came close to equalising when Niklas Brandt fired a lovely shot from range which narrowly flew just over the bar. Not long after this effort the hosts forced Lukáš Hrádecký into action, Christopher Handke tried his luck from just under thirty yards out and his effort was wonderfully saved by Hrádecký. The rebound fell to an unmarked Christian Beck, however the forward couldn’t direct his awkward volley on target and instead fired wide.
When given the chance Magdeburg put plenty of bodies in the area for the long throws from Handke and just after twenty five minutes the long throws almost paid off. Handke launched a throw into the area and it was flicked on by Frankfurt’s Alexander Meier and Beck agonisingly just missed the ball as it flashed across the goal.
That proved to be the only clear cut chance for the rest of the half and Magdeburg will feel they were unfortunate to be behind at the break. They were the better side throughout the half as Frankfurt made mistake after mistake, the away side scored from their only chance, while Magdeburg continued to pressure Frankfurt and shot from range.
The second half started in an ugly fashion as moments into the half play was halted. From the away end flares were lit and black smoke filled the away end as trouble started, moments later trouble started at the opposite end as ultras from the home end tried to enter the pitch and security forces were forced to come onto the pitch.
After a long delay the game resumed and which was fortunate as the game looked more likely to be abandoned.
The home side strongly felt they should’ve been awarded a penalty when a lovely one-two saw Tobias Schwede being brought down by Makoto Hasebe, the foul looked like it was just inside the area, however the referee decided to award a freekick on the edge of the area to the frustration of Magdeburg.
The resulting freekick was deflected wide for a corner and the corner saw Magdeburg go close from range once more, the corner was cleared and Nils Butzen raced from the halfway line to unleash an excellent powerful effort which forced Hrádecký into action.
Magdeburg deservedly grabbed an equaliser, a freekick saw Nico Hammann take and his effort deflected off the end of the wall and flew into the empty side of the net as Hrádecký was left helpless.
Two minutes after the Magdeburg goal Frankfurt could’ve regained their lead, a corner came in and fell to the feet of Meier who’s effort from five yards deflected wide for another corner.
Due to the earlier delay in the game the officials decided on eleven minutes added time and this meant plenty of time for a winner.
Magdeburg had a chance to grab that winner after eight minutes of additional time, Tarek Chahed was played through on goal and after making some ground towards goal he couldn’t cause too many problems for Hrádecký as David Abraham gained ground to force an early shot.
Moments later as extra time was close to coming to an end the hosts had another great chance to grab a winner, this time it was Beck that was played through and was allowed to charge towards goal, however the forward disappointingly fired his effort straight at Hrádecký.
Things were made more difficult for Frankfurt after the 100th minute as Michael Hector picked up his second booking of the game as he brought down Tobias Schwede who was about to run clear towards goal.
Frankfurt’s key man Meier had a quiet game for the away side, however he did have an opportunity at the end of the first half of extra time, he was left unmarked inside the area and the forward fired well over to waste his golden chance.
With tired legs all round the pitch the chances were rare in extra time, Beck had a handful for the hosts and even put the ball into the back of the net, disappointingly for the home side he failed to stay onside for the goal and for the other chances he had.
The game went to penalties and the home side stepped up first:
- Hammann – Scored – Meier – Scored
- Puttkammer – Missed – Huszti – Scored
- Müller – Missed -Hasebe – Missed
- Exslager – Scored – Omar Mascarell – Missed
- Beck – Scored – Blum – Scored
- Löhmannsröben – Missed – Varela – Scored
Despite a tremendous effort and arguably deserving to go through Magdeburg failed to come through the penalty shootout as it finished 3-4 after six spot kicks. Despite going through this will be a wake up call for Bundesliga side Frankfurt who were under par for most of the match.
Article for VAVEL Bundesliga.