Eintracht ease to friendly victory against Aue
Eintracht Frankfurt rounded off their Alicante training camp with a 3-1 win against FC Erzgebirge Aue on Saturday, Sebastien Haller, Branimir Hrgota and Mijat Gacinovic on target for the Eagles.
Friendly was very much the term to describe Eintracht's meeting with Aue in San Pedro del Pinatar, given that three 45-minute 'halves' had been arranged. A total of 135 minutes of action allowed Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac and his Aue counterpart, Hannes Drews, plenty of scope for experimentation, both in terms of tactics and personnel.
Despite the unusual format, it was a hard-fought opening at the Pinatar Arena, with Aue matching the Bundesliga side physically. Although the Eagles enjoyed almost two-thirds of possession, Kovac's troops struggled to break down their second-tier opponents and it remained goalless after the first 45 minutes.
Eintracht upped the ante at the start of the second period and the Eagles' early adventure was rewarded when Haller controlled on his chest from Marius Wolf's 52nd-minute corner, before sending a fine half-volley into the top corner. Hrgota doubled the lead 14 minutes later, latching onto Aymen Barkok's through-ball and finishing with a flourish, before Mijat Gacinovic added another goal in the closing stages of the second 45 minutes, Haller the architect of the third.
After eight Frankfurt substitutions, including the long-awaited returns of Omar Mascarell (eight months out) and Marco Fabian (six months out) from injury, the final 45 minutes were somewhat disjointed. Aue did manage to net a consolation goal when Michael Maria cut in from the left and finished well past Jan Zimmermann, although that proved to be the final action of note. The game petered out thereafter, with Eintracht standing firm to seal a deserved 3-1 victory.
Hradecky (Zimmermann 91') – Russ (Knothe 91'), Hasebe (Chandler 91'), Salcedo (Falette 91') – Wolf (da Costa 82'), Fernandes (Mascarell 91'), Willems (Blum 91') – Barkok (Stendera 91'), Boateng (Gacinovic 82'/Kamada 125') – Haller (Jovic 91'), Rebic (Hrgota 46'/Fabian 113')
1-0 Haller (52’)
2-0 Hrgota (66')
3-0 Gacinovic (90')
3-1 Maria (108')