This international break, Jamie Lashley, who writes our weekly sports bulletin, takes a look at international fixtures, as well as reminiscing on a 2018 highlight.
Despite the pandemic, international fixtures continue to take place, despite the risk to players and staff as travel across Europe for UEFA Nations League matches, EURO2021 qualifiers and friendlies. So far, Germany have played twice in this international break, beating the Czech Republic 1-0 in a lowkey affair, with Benfica forward Luca Waldschmidt grabbing the only goal. This was followed by an impressive 3-1 victory over Ukraine in the Nations League. Although the Eastern European nation grabbed the opener, Leroy Sane levelled the scores when he cut in onto his left foot to finish a scintillating counterattack. Chelsea marksman Timo Werner then sealed the points with a brace in a deserved Germany win.
This international break we will be looking back to the past – the summer of 2018 to be exact. In the last game of the club fixture list, Eintracht Frankfurt went head to head with serial winners Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal final – Germany’s equivalent of the FA Cup.
Bayern were fresh from a league-winning campaign as Jupp Heynckes looked to seal one more trophy in his last game in management. The man to succeed him, Niko Kovac, was in charge of their opposition that evening at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. The 75th Final of the Pokal was certainly one to remember, with Bayern hitting the crossbar numerous times and VAR interrupting to play a crucial role. The scores were level at 1-1 after an hour, as Robert Lewandowski equalised following Ante Rebic’s first half opener for Frankfurt.
With the underdogs defending resolutely as Bayern created chance after chance, Frankfurt’s chance to take the lead once more came late in the game, with Rebic again proving to be Bayern’s nemesis. The Croatian, who would go on to help his country reach the World Cup final that summer, was too strong and too quick for the Bayern defenders, latching on to a through ball and finishing smartly past the Bayern keeper Sven Ulreich. It looked to be a true smash and grab victory for Die Adler, but there were yet more twists to come.
Javi Martinez claimed he was fouled in the Frankfurt penalty area, but referee Felix Zwayer deemed it to be a fair challenge, even after consulting VAR. Should Bayern have had a late penalty and chance to equalise? We will let you decide. Goalkeeper Ulreich joined the Bayern attacking effort in a last-minute corner, leaving the goal unmanned in the sixth minute of added time. Frankfurt cleared the corner, and there were no defenders to stop substitute Mijat Gaćinović racing away to seal a historic 3-1 Frankfurt victory.
We fully recommend checking out the highlights of the game.
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