Eintracht Frankfurt suffered a 2-0 defeat against Serie A side Empoli in the first friendly of their training camp in Gais.

Head coach Adi Hütter’s side had strong opposition for their first friendly of the training camp in South Tyrol. Empoli finished top of Serie B by 13 points last season to earn promotion back to Italy’s top flight, and they showed their quality during the friendly in Reischach. Wednesday evening’s encounter also saw new signing Francisco Geraldes make his first appearance in an Eagles shirt.

Good chances but no goals

Eintracht, who lined up with a back three consisting of David Abraham, Makoto Hasebe and Evan N'Dicka, dominated the opening exchanges but failed to make the most of their chances. After a short drinks break, it was Empoli who broke the deadlock against the run of play in the 37th minute when striker Francesco Caputo got on the end of a sharp cross from the right and drove the ball in at the far post. The Tuscans were lifted by the goal but the Eagles had one more good chance to score before the break, only for Luka Jovic to see his header from a corner headed off the line by Miha Zajc.

Dangerous from distance

In the second half, the effects of five training sessions in the space of three days began to tell among the men in black. Empoli increasingly took control of the game and came close to doubling their lead less than two minutes after the restart, but goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald made an excellent point-blank save to deny Caputo. However, the experienced frontman did get his and Empoli’s second goal in the 63rd minute when he tucked away a penalty after N’Dicka had handled in the penalty area.

Hütter then made nine substitutions and the fresh legs put his side back on the offensive. The Eagles were particularly threatening from long range, with Marco Fabián, Gonçalo Paciência and Allan all going close with their efforts, but it finished 2-0 – a scoreline that does not truly reflect the balance of the game.

Eintracht line-up:

Wiedwald - Abraham (Russ 63’), Hasebe (Falette 63’), N’Dicka (Beyreuther 63’) - Chandler (Da Costa 63’), Torró (Fernandes 63’), de Guzmán (Allan 63’), Willems (Blum 63’) - Geraldes (Fabián 63’), Gaćinović (Paciência 63’) - Jović (Haller 75’)

Goals:

0-1 Caputo (38’)
0-2 Caputo (pen. 63’)


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