Tough start in the Conference League: Robin Koch heads Eintracht Frankfurt to victory over Aberdeen

As of: September 21, 2023 8:42 p.m

In the constant rain in Frankfurt, Eintracht averted a slip-up against Aberdeen. Ideas and speed were lacking for a long time – only a goal from Robin Koch and the dynamism of a joker brought victory.

Eintracht Frankfurt started the Conference League with a win on Thursday evening. The SGE team won 2:1 (1:1) against Aberdeen. Omar Marmoush scored for Eintracht with a penalty (11th) and Robin Koch scored with a header (61st), Dante Polvara equalized for Aberdeen (22nd).

Coach Dino Toppmöller had four changes compared to Saturday evening game at VfL Bochum made: Hrvoje Smolcic started in defense instead of Tuta, but played centrally in the chain. Junior Dina Ebimbe was on the right instead of Aurelio Buta, while Ebimbe’s place in the attack was taken by Paxten Aaaronson. At the front, Marmoush was given priority over Jessic Ngankam. In midfield, Eintracht operated with a diamond (Ellyes Skhiri as the only six), the outside players pushed far forward.

Marmoush scores, Rode injured again

After just nine minutes, captain Rode’s positioning paid off when he cleverly sent Dina Ebimbe into the penalty area. The goalscorer from the Bochum game was then clumsily brought down by Aberdeen’s Jack MacKenzie. Marmoush coldly converted the penalty to make it 1-0 (11th). After a quick start two minutes later, the newcomer could have almost increased the score just in front of the goal, but made a mistake. Little came from Aberdeen until Eintracht invited their opponents to score: Skhiri made a mistake behind the halfway line that allowed the Scots to counterattack. Both Smolcic and Niels Nkounkou acted too hesitantly, so a cross in the penalty area found Polvara, who hit the ball under the crossbar (22nd).

A few minutes later, a pyroflare flew from the Scottish visitors’ block onto the back straight, which roused the entire stadium. Nothing was initially known about any injuries. On the pitch, the game stalled because Aberdeen retreated far back and Frankfurt missed too many balls in the front third. Aaronson in particular was unable to promote himself, apart from one chance before the break. Another youngster came on after 37 minutes: Hugo Larsson came on to replace Rode, who had again injured his calf. In the heavy, continuous rain, the game went into the break with a draw, also because Eintracht played forward at too little speed despite 83 percent possession of the ball.

Götze out for the break, Chaibi revives the attack

This was to be changed by Fares Chaibi and Ngankam, who came on for Mario Götze and Aaronson after the break. Nevertheless, the Frankfurters still found no means against the guests’ bulwark. Significant scenes were two balls that were hit far into the stands: first from Dina Ebimbe’s frustration, then from a failed cross from Marmoush. A little later, the latter set up Chaibi, whose header was just cleared (60′). However, the guests were unable to save anything from the following corner; Koch headed Chaibi’s cross into the goal (61′).

In general, Chaibi’s substitution turned out to be a good move because he brought speed into the attacks and dangerous corners from both sides. Toppmöller continued to make substitutions: Knauff, who was recently left out of the squad, came to the left lane for Nkounkou and tried at least once with a shot on goal (76th). Despite the Scottish weather, there was a lot of kick and rush despite the lead and Eintracht were far too rarely able to exploit their technical superiority. Chaibi also adapted more and more to the moderate level. Aberdeen’s Ester Sokler almost scored the equalizer in stoppage time, but missed from a promising position (90th + 2nd). In the end, Frankfurt’s success was deserved, but it offered little cause for celebration, especially with regard to the offensive.

Eintracht Frankfurt – FC Aberdeen 2:1 (1:1)

Frankfurt: Trapp – Smolcic, Koch, Pacho – Shkiri, Rode (39th Larsson), Dina Ebimbe, Nkounkou (68th Knauff) – Götze (46th Chaibi), Aaronson (46th Ngankam) – Marmoush (83rd Buta)

Aberdeen: Roos – Jensen, Gartenmann, Rubezic, Devlin, MacKenzie – Shinnie, Clarkson (71st Barron), McGrath (77th Sokler), Polvara (71st Hayes) – Miovski (56th Duk)

Gates: 1:0 Marmoush (11.FE), 1:1 Polvara (22.), 2:1 Koch (61.)

Yellow cards: Aaronson / Garden Man

Referee: Chrysovalantis (Cyprus)
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