The Japanese Daichi Kamada makes Eintracht Frankfurt dream of further festivals on Europe’s football stage. With his three goals (12th / 43rd / 53rd minute) in the first knockout game of the Europa League against Red Bull Salzburg, the Hessian Bundesliga club laid the foundation for the deserved 4: 1 (2: 0) success and now very much likely progress to the round of 16 of the Europa League.
In front of 47,000 spectators in the sold-out Commerzbank-Arena, the Serb Filip Kostic (56th) scored the fourth goal for last year’s semi-finalists from the Main. The foul penalty converted by Hee-Chan Hwang (85th) leaves the guests at least a spark of hope for the second leg in Salzburg.
In the first international game of the year, Eintracht coach Adi Hütter showed a good hand when he bet on Kamada and his compatriot Makoto Hasebe again. After passing by Almamy Toure, Kamada turned into the lead for the more energetic hosts, who also had advantages in the game structure. It was Kamada’s first start this year – the man of the evening scored four to six in the running competition. The 23-year-old had already shone with a double in the 2-1 win at FC Arsenal in the group phase.
The victim of the Hanau violence was commemorated with a minute’s silence before kick-off. Both teams played with black ribbon – according to Eintracht’s message “in memory of those affected and as a clear sign against all forms of racism and extremism”. With the 2: 0 Kamada completed a great solo run ice cold, the 3: 0 was achieved by the Japanese. Kostic followed up despite a suspicious situation. The Austrian Hütter reacted to the failures of Mijat Gacinovic (sick) and Martin Hinteregger (suspended) by deploying the two Japanese, who recently played no major role in the Bundesliga.
“We have to be braver”
Salzburg’s coached by Jesse Marsch, most recently six times in a row Austrian champions and currently second in the league behind the Linz ASK, did not hide, but they also opened rooms that were used by Eintracht. In front of the goal, the guests often lacked cleverness and punch – and above all the top scorer Erling Haaland, who had migrated to Borussia Dortmund.
“We have to be braver, trust ourselves more and win duels,” said RB Sport Director Christoph Freund during the half-time break at DAZN. But the team didn’t do him the favor. On the contrary: Eintracht was almost negligent about other opportunities.
The choreography with 20,000 sparklers prepared by the ultra fans before the start of the game was banned by the European Football Union. The reaction was a banner with the words “Fuck UEFA”.
Wolfburg also wins
VfL Wolfsburg also have a decent starting position for the return leg next week after a 2-1 win at home against Malmo. The Wolfsburg turns 0: 1 behind by goals from Brekalo and an own goal from Kiese Thelin, who had previously given the Swedes a penalty with a penalty.
The return games of both teams will take place next week on Thursday.