Eintracht Frankfurt’s European Cup heroes completed their miraculous fairytale on a magical night.

Eintracht Frankfurt’s European Cup heroes have completed their miraculous fairytale on a magical night. 42 years after their UEFA Cup triumph, the “Euro Eagles” soared to an international summit once again with a 5:4 penalty thriller in a hard-fought Europa League final against Glasgow Rangers. After regulation time and extra time, the score was 1-1 (1:1, 0:0).

Rafael Borre converted the decisive penalty and ensured the first success of a Bundesliga team in the 13th edition of the competition and the first qualification of the Hessians for the lucrative Champions League in the furnace of Seville. Kevin Trapp made a save against Aaron Ramsey. The triumph means Eintracht will challenge the winner of the top flight in the Supercup in Helsinki on 10 August. Joe Aribo (57th) had given the Scottish record champions the lead, Borre (69th) equalised.

The team of coach Oliver Glasner thus managed to crown a fantastic season in Europe by winning the 13th game in a row without defeat in their favourite competition. Glasner became only the second Austrian coach after Ernst Happel to win a European Cup.

50,000 Eintracht supporters and 100,000 Rangers fans had spent the entire day in the pubs and alleys of the Andalusian city, mostly peacefully, getting in the mood for the grand final. At the fan festivals in the large squares, too, the atmosphere was splendid in temperatures of almost 35 degrees. In the sold-out Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan with 43,833 spectators, the Scottish supporters also had a clear advantage in terms of numbers. The colour blue also dominated in the neutral area.

President Peter Fischer radiated boundless optimism shortly before Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic’s kick-off. “I have a 3:0 on the cards,” said Fischer. Watched by Eintracht legends Karl-Heinz Körbel, Dragoslav Stepanovic and Andreas Möller, the encounter began with a shock for the Frankfurt side. Captain Sebastian Rode suffered a laceration to his head after being kicked by his opponent John Lundstram, but the veteran played on with a blue and white head bandage.

His team-mates, cheered on by their vociferous fans, were unimpressed and scored their first goal after eight league games without a win through Djibril Sow. But the Swiss player’s shot posed no problems for Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor (12th).

The Hessians remained the dominant and more dangerous team against the Scots, who had eliminated Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig on their way to the final. However, BVB loanee Ansgar Knauff failed to beat McGregor (20th) and Evan Ndicka headed at the outside of the net (21st). The defender’s chance had been initiated by Jesper Lindström, who was immediately in the starting eleven on his comeback after a three-week injury break.

After the football festival in the quarter-final against FC Barcelona and the semi-final triumph over West Ham United, Frankfurt had to work hard. The game was characterised by many duels and a lot of running. And in the 26th minute, the team of team manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst also registered. Aribo just missed the goal of national keeper Trapp. On the other side, the agile Lindström put a distance shot on the Rangers goal (30.).

Van Bronckhorst repeatedly gesticulated wildly with his arms in the face of Frankfurt’s superiority in the first 35 minutes, while Glasner mostly stood calmly in front of his bench and only occasionally shouted instructions. His team also took it easy in the final phase of the first period, and Eintracht lost some of their grip.

At the beginning of the second period, the Frankfurt fans set off plenty of pyrotechnics, and Lindström almost caused the explosion on the pitch. But the Danish international’s deflected shot just missed its target (49th).

Glasgow did better: Eintracht centre-back Tuta stumbled and Aribo stormed towards Trapp alone and kept his nerve. Tuta also injured himself and had to be substituted.

Eintracht responded with furious attacks. Daichi Kamada (67th) missed a great chance to equalise, Borre did better after a cross from Filip Kostic. In extra time, Trapp made a superb save against Ryan Kent (118th). The drama from the spot followed with a happy ending.