Eintracht Frankfurt’s 42-year wait for a European title has ended with a 5-4 penalty shoot-out win over Glasgow Rangers in the Europa League final.
Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp came up with a big save at the end of extra time and another in the shoot-out on Wednesday night to help give F
Colombian striker Rafael Borré, who scored a second-half equaliser for Frankfurt, converted the decisive penalty to clinch the club’s 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.
“It feels incredible,” Trapp said. “I’m trying to catch my breath still. For us, for Frankfurt, for the region. For the whole of Germany, I think it’s a wonderful thing. To be able to give back to our fans this way is so special.”
Trapp, a former Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper, made a key save in the final minutes of extra time by stretching out a leg to stop a close-range shot by Ryan Kent. The veteran goalkeeper used his left leg to stop Aaron Ramsey’s penalty in the shoot-out, setting off huge celebrations by Frankfurt’s “white wall” of fans behind the opposite goal in the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, Seville.
There were also wild celebrations back in Germany as Frankfurt fans packed the club’s stadium to watch a telecast of the final.
rankfurt the victory. The game had ended 1-1 after full time and extra time.
Joe Aribo gave Rangers the lead in the 57th minute and Borré equalized in the 69th for Frankfurt, which became the third team to go through the Europa League unbeaten after Chelsea in 2019 and Villarreal in 2021.
Ramsey, the former Arsenal and Juventus midfielder, entered the match in the final minutes of extra time to take a penalty in the shoot-out. Christopher Lenz, Ajdin Hrustic, Daichi Kamada and Filip Kostic also converted penalties for Frankfurt, while James Tavernier, Steven Davis, Scott Airfield and Kemar Roofe found the net for Rangers in the shoot-out.
“It’s the small margins when you get to this stage of competitions,” Rangers captain Tavernier said. “It was in our own hands but we conceded that goal and then Trapp makes a great save from Ryan Kent. Then he makes the save in the shoot-out and we are all just devastated.”
“You have to score those, especially in the last minutes,” he said.
Rangers was trying to win its first European title since the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972. The Scottish club also lost to Zenit St Petersburg in the 2008 UEFA Cup. It was trying to cap a comeback 10 years after it was sent to the lower divisions because of a financial meltdown.
“It’s going to be a sore one to take,” Rangers midfielder Davis said. “We know how difficult it will be to get to this stage again.”
Frankfurt are the first Bundesliga team to win the Europa League or the UEFA Cup since 1997 when Schalke beat Inter Milan on penalties.
Frankfurt will return to the top flight of European competition for the first time since 1960 when it lost in the European Cup final to Real Madrid in Glasgow.