Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Rangers (5-4 pens): Borre leads German side to glory
Eintracht Frankfurt claimed their first European trophy in 42 years after a 5-4 penalty shoot-out win over Rangers at the end of 1-1 draw in the Europa League final in Seville on Wednesday.
Oliver Glasner's side were playing in their first European final since they beat Borussia Monchengladbach in the same competition in 1980 and they fell behind in the 57th minute when Joe Aribo took full advantage of some slapstick defending.
The Bundesliga outfit forced extra time at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan 12 minutes later, however, courtesy of Rafael Borre's close-range finish.
Borre was the hero in the shoot-out as well, the Colombian slamming home the decisive spot-kick after Aaron Ramsey had seen his penalty saved by Kevin Trapp, who had brilliantly denied Ryan Kent late in extra time.
Allan McGregor denied Daichi Kamada from a tight angle inside the opening 15 minutes, before the Rangers goalkeeper superbly tipped Ansgar Knauff's effort from 15 yards past his left-hand post.
Aribo whipped past the upright from 25 yards shortly after the midway point of the first half, while Filip Kostic dragged wide after running almost the entire length of the pitch.
Rangers looked the more threatening side as the first half wore on, with Trapp tipping over John Lundstram's looping header and Ryan Jack lashing over from a promising position before the interval.
Jesper Lindstrom went close immediately after the break, before Aribo put the Scottish side ahead with a cool finish past Trapp after latching onto Djibril Sow's backwards header, the Nigeria international benefitting from a slip by Tuta.
Eintracht restored parity in the 69th minute, though, when Borre stole ahead of Calvin Bassey to prod home Kostic's superb left-wing cross.
Trapp made a remarkable point-blank save from Kent with two minutes left of extra time to ensure the game went to a penalty shoot-out.
After a string of superb efforts, Ramsey, who was brought on with just three minutes remaining, saw his tame spot-kick kept out by Trapp, setting the stage for Borre to slot home from 12 yards and send the travelling Eintracht fans into raptures.
What does it mean? Eintracht prolong Rangers' European agony
That penalty shoot-out drama saw Eintracht become the first German team to win the Europa League since Schalke in the 1996-97 season.
They also became only the third club to start the season in the Europa League group stage and end up lifting the trophy without losing once. Previously only Villarreal in 2020-21 and Chelsea in 2018-19 had done so.
Meanwhile, Rangers' long wait for a European trophy goes on. The Scottish Premiership side, who suffered defeat in the final of the same competition to Zenit in the 2007-08 season, last tasted success in Europe back in 1972 when they won the Cup Winners' Cup.
Borre continues Colombia's streak
Borre’s predatory strike was the sixth goal scored by a Colombian in the Europa League final, with players from no other nation scoring more at that stage of the competition (Spain, also six). The striker also showed nerves of steel to power home the deciding penalty.
Kent's agonising miss
Kent will have nightmares about his miss deep into extra time. Substitute Kemar Roofe slid a wonderful cross into his path, but the winger was unable to force the ball past Trapp from six yards out. European titles are decided on such fine margins.
Key Opta Facts
- Eintracht Frankfurt have become the first German team to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League since Schalke in the 1996-97 season.
- Eintracht have won their second major European trophy, 42 years after winning the UEFA Cup against Borussia Mönchengladbach.
- For the first time in the competition’s history, the UEFA Cup/Europa League final has been decided by a penalty shoot-out in consecutive campaigns. For Rangers, it was their first shoot-out defeat in European competition since the 1999-00 UEFA Cup (versus Borussia Dortmund in the round of 32).
- Rangers had four shots on target in the second half of extra time, double the amount that they had over the first 105 minutes.
Eintracht’s season is now over, while Giovanni van Bronckhorst needs to lift his players for the Scottish Cup final against Hearts on Saturday.