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The Eagles got to the end of their European adventure with a spirited performance against Champions League contenders FC Porto. Meier (2) and Aigner scored for SGE, Mangala (2) and Ghilas for FCP.
The European Adventure comes to an end
Armin Veh replaced Rode (injury) and Russ (match ban) with Barnetta and Aigner. The atmosphere was sizzling when the teams entered the pitch, the fans ut on one of their infamous colorful display. It was all set.
The Eagles got well under way and did not hang back. A first attack ended up with Porto keeper saving for a corner from a Barnetta run (4’). A through ball towards Aigner did not quite find its way to him but it was another close call (8’). Porto also came forward towards the EIntracht box but no major chances were created in the first 20 minutes of the match. A long range free-kick by Quaresma went far over the cross bar (24’).
The first major chance fell to SGE’s Flum who volleyed the ball over the bar after a Porto defender cleared a Barnetta cross (26’). Then a neat cross flew into the Einracht box, Herrera’s header came close but luckily was wide (28’). At the other end Aigner tried it from long range, his attempt went over the Porto goal though.
Aigner came back though and this time in the best possible way – Jung found Meier with a cross, he headed towards Aigner who converted from close range 1-0 (37’)!! It was in front of the Eintracht stand, the whole ground went nuts! Porto was always a threat, as expected, but SGE did ever so well. Barnetta had go from long range, this time Helton was at the end of it. And that was it for the first half.
The second half started as lively as it could with Porto pushing forward and SGE coming forward on the break. Joselu had a first go but his shot went just over the bar (47’). Five minutes later Zabrano hit a long ball towards Barnetta who flicked on to Meier – Alexander “The Great” hit home from close range - 2-0 (52’)!!
Porto then started to build up pressure and they found the back of the net when a Quaresma cross from the right found Mangala at the near post who headed in (58’). Eintracht came back right away and Jung back-heeled the ball from close range – it was just cleared off the line (60’). And another good chance came along with an indirect free-kick – unfortunately it was blocked from a Porto wall that was probably too close to the ball (67’).
Four minutes later the Eagles had to suffer a blow again when Mangala scored the equalizer, again with a header, this time after a free-kick combination and a Fernando cross (71’). But amazingly EIntracht found their way back into the game and once again Alexander “The Great” Meier found the back of the net with a cracking finish from a Barnetta flick-on – 3-2 (76’)!
It was an exciting end to end encounter on a thrilling night. But Porto once again came pushing forward and hit the target again, with only four minutes to go. Lica had a go which Trapp blocked but Ghilas picke up the rebound and converted from close range 3-3 (86’). It was a heated affair throughout the 90 minutes – four minutes added time were given, to no effect though unfortunately. With great spirit and passion the Eagles took on this big team, they can keep their heads up and fully focus on the Bundesliga now.