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SGE managed the hat-trick winning the third match in their Europa League campaign against Maccabi Tel Aviv 2-0. Kadlec (12’) and Meier (53’) scored, Maccabi’s Ben Haim was sent off with a second yellow card (34’).
The Eintracht supporters showed an amazing fan choreography before the kick-off.
The Eagles started with Flum replacing Aigner, the only change manager Armin Veh made compared to last weekend’s home match against Nürnberg. Once again the fans were in European spirit, arranging a colourful display and welcoming the teams with strong-voiced support (40,800).
And SGE came forward right away, Meier was found with a cross from the left by Oczipka, his header was well placed but Maccabi keeper Pablo was at the end of it with a fine save (4’). Tel Aviv’s following attack ended up in the box where Ben Haim placed a shot but this time it was well saved by Trapp (5’). Only minutes later it was Barnetta who hit a powerful long range effort which was saved again for a corner (7’). The Israeli champions and current table leaders looked confident though, still the Eagles calmed matters down early on when Vaclav Kadlec connected with a rebound from the post (another Meier header) from close range – 1-0 (12’)!
Shortly after the Eagles came charging forward again but Rode’s chip went just over the bar (14’). Russ (11’) and Zambrano (16’) were awarded early bookings. The opening 15 minutes were lively and entertaining and the fans gave their all. Then the game calmed down to some extent, not too many scoring opportunities happened at either end despite a couple of long range efforts of Barnetta and Jung. After a good half hour Maccabi’s Ben Haim was sent off with a second yellow card for a handball (34’).
SGE then put on a power play of sorts but did not manage to convert any of their scoring attempts - Russ had deflected shot, Barnetta tried his luck again and so did Meier, unfortunately to no effect. The 1-0 half time lead stood after a decent performance of the Eagles who allowed Maccabi little to nothing going forward and who were in full control of the action.
With the restart of the match Stefan Aigner replaced Marco Russ. And Eintracht continued from where they had ended the first half, with plenty of ball possession they came forward pushing for the second goal. This time it did not take them that long, Barnetta crossed in a corner and Alex Meier headed home from close range – 2-0 (53’)! Good to see Meier hitting the target again, and good to see Eintracht’s strikers on the score sheet. Talking of which, the next chance fell to Kadlec who was neatly set up by Jung with a through-ball but missed the target (64’). The Inui came on for Barnetta who once again showed a classy performance (68’).
Eintracht did not push too much for another goal now but seemed always in full control of the match. Kadlec had another go from the edge of the box but his shot was wide (73’). Minutes later Alex Meier received standing ovations when he was replaced by Srdjan Lakic (78’). SGE were cruising now, a neat build-up via Rode, Inui and Jung ended up with Kadlec in the five yard box but he somehow managed to get the ball over the cross bar – not an easy ball anyhow (81’). Inui found himself offside twice, close calls though. It was also the Japanese midfielder who set up Kadlec – his shot was saved by Pablo. Then Inui was set up by Aigner with a decent high pass but missed the target. The 2-0 score line stood when the final whistle came.
Three wins out of three Group F matches, who would have thought this Europa League campaign of Eintracht would be that successful. The are top of their group and have not conceded a single goal so far – well done! Coming up is the away match against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday at 17.30h CET.