The European tour of Frankfurt Eintracht continues. Joker and match winner Jessic Ngankam opened the door to the Conference League group stage against Levski Sofia.
Eintracht Frankfurt is in the group stage of the Conference League. In the second leg against Levski Sofia, the Hessians struggled for a long time on Thursday, substitutes Jessic Ngankam (79th) and Ellyes Skhiri (86th) shot Eintracht to a late 2-0 win.
Without the striking star striker Randal Kolo Muani, but Eintracht coach Dino Toppmöller started the Conference League qualification project with four changes in the starting eleven compared to the Bundesliga game in Mainz. Paxten Aaronson, Junior Dina Ebimbe, Tuta and Aurelio Buta replaced Kolo Muani, Philipp Max, Hrvoje Smolcic and Ansgar Knauff.
Jakic out early, bright spot Larsson
Eintracht was more determined from the start than in the last few games and tried to break through the deep Bulgarians with passes between the lines and runs to the baseline. But two crosses from Buta didn’t find their addressee (7’/17′), a shot by Omar Marmoush was blocked (26′).
Little came from Levski, the Bulgarians only had one shot on goal in the first half, but Ronaldo clearly missed (32′). In the meantime, Kristijan Jakic had to be substituted for the Hessians after a collision with Willian Pacho with a laceration, Hugo Larsson came on for him, who presented himself extremely brave and ball-safe.
The goal anthem sounded briefly, but Marmoush was faintly offside after a nice pass from Skhiri (25′). Mario Götze was also unlucky when he shot from a tight angle (42′). Would it have been goalless with a Kolo Muani in the starting XI?
In the second half, the Hessians continued where they left off in the first half, tried really hard, but lacked the ultimate consistency. Götze and Marmoush out of the crowd failed at Levski keeper Plamen Andreev (49 ‘), Ebimbe after a nice chip ball from Pacho behind the defense twisted from an acute angle with his weak left. Perhaps the greatest chance of Hessen (54.)
Ngankam comes and hits
As a result, the home side found it more difficult again, they often did not get past the beginnings. Unsurprisingly, Kolo Muani, Daichi Kamada and Jesper Lindström were missing the three most prolific players of the previous season. Momentum only came back with the substitutes. Skhiri made a wonderful pass to Götze, who put it back to Joker Ngankam – who scored to make it 1-0 (79th).
A little later, Ngankam finally mutated into the match winner when he pushed through a counterattack by the Hessians directly to Skhiri who ran with him, who stayed cool in front of keeper Andreev and made the decision (86th). And so the Hessians celebrated a deserved entry into the group phase of the Conference League. Not too many Frankfurters should have thought of Kolo Muani’s change posse that evening.
EINTRACH FRANKFURT – LEVSKI SOFIA 2: 0 (0: 0)
Frankfurt: Trapp – Tuta, Koch, Pacho – Skhiri, Jakic (31.Larsson) – Buta (70.Hauge), Ebimbe – Götze, Aaronson (83.Max), Marmoush (70.Ngankam)
Levski: Andreev – Petris, Dimitrov, Cordoba, Tsunami – van der Kaap (83.Fadiga), Kraev, Darlan Mendes (59.Mitkov) – Ronaldo, Ricardinho (83.El Jemili), Welton Felipe
Gates: 1-0 Ngankam (79′), 2-0 Skhiri (86′)
yellow cards: Buta / Dimitrov, Tsunami, van der Kaap, Ronaldo
referee: Lindhout (Netherlands)