MIL-OSI China: Frankfurt salvage last gasp draw to stay top of group

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Source: China State Council Information Office

Goncalo Paciencia’s injury-time equalizer helped Eintracht Frankfurt to secure a last-gasp two-all draw against Antwerp in the 5th round of Europa League’s group stage on Thursday.
The “Eagles” started brightly in front of the home crowd and controlled possession in the opening period.
Frankfurt turned its dominance into a tangible reward with 13 minutes gone when Timothy Chandler’s cross into the box found Daichi Kamada, who slotted home the opener at the far post corner.
The host’s goalkeeper Kevin Trapp underestimated a cross and almost invited Antwerp to score the leveler but for all that Dorian Dessoleil couldn’t beat Trapp from inside the box.
Frankfurt continued on the front foot, but Antwerp still equalized the scoring at the half-hour mark when Radjan Nainggolan volleyed home Viktor Fischer’s corner to the edge of the box past hapless Trapp.
The hosts remained unimpressed but couldn’t take the lead again before the break although Antwerp custodian Jean Butez almost cleared a corner into his own goal.
After halftime, Frankfurt controlled the proceedings on the pitch without doing much damage to Antwerp’s defense.
However, the visitors from Belgium then thought they had taken the lead but Ritchie de Laet’s header was ruled offside by the video assistant referee in the 71st minute.
Frankfurt handed over control and allowed Antwerp to take things over. The visitors eventually stunned Frankfurt with the 2-1 in the 88th minute when Alhassan Yusuf Abdullahi sent Mbwana Samatta, who finished the job with a well-placed shot into the far post corner.
Frankfurt pressed frenetically for the leveler and the host’s efforts got rewarded in the added time after Filip Kostic’s cross found Paciencia whose header, four minutes after his fielding, clinched the “Eagles” a share of spoils on home soil and eliminated courageous Antwerp from the competition.
With the result, Frankfurt top Group D with 11 points, followed by Olympiacos (9 points), Fenerbahce (5 points) and Antwerp (2 points).
“We wanted to win but we got caught flat-footed on a counter. However, we came back and showed once again our will. We will need one point to advance into the next round now. We didn’t play well in the second half, but we really believed in a late goal,” Frankfurt head coach Oliver Glasner said. 

MIL OSI China News