Eintracht march into DFB Cup Round of 16 with comfortable win in Schweinfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt reached the DFB Cup Round of 16 on Tuesday night with a comfortable 4-0 victory against fourth-tier 1. FC Schweinfurt 05.
In front of 15,000 supporters, the regional-league side held their own in the first half, despite Sébastien Haller's 14th-minute header to open the scoring, but eventually the Eagles' superior class told, with three second-half goals (Haller completing his brace as well as strikes from Marius Wolf and Danny Blum) enough to secure a resounding win.
Schweinfurt had been in good form in the Regionalliga Bayern, sitting fourth and beating VfR Garching by a 3-0 scoreline last Friday night. For their part, Eintracht held Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund to a 2-2 draw on Saturday, with Haller and Wolf also on the scoresheet in that one.
Sent off in the first round of the DFB Cup – a 3-0 win at TuS Erndtebrück – David Abraham was banned for the trip to Schweinfurt. Timothy Chandler also missed out after suffering a knee injury against Dortmund. Makoto Hasebe, Ante Rebic and Mijat Gacinovic were rested, allowing coach Niko Kovac to hand starts to Simon Falette, Carlos Salcedo, Jonathan de Guzman, Aymen Barkok and Luka Jovic as well as to employ a three-man defence.
Spurred on by their raucous fans, Schweinfurt started well, but were offered an early reminder of Frankfurt's quality when Haller opened the scoring in the 14th minute, a touch of fortune helping his header past Alexander Eiban following a good cross from Jetro Willems. The hosts were undeterred, however, and threatened through left-back Herbert Paul in the 20th minute. In truth, though, clear-cut chances were few and far between and the closest the Eagles came following the opener was Jovic's effort – saved by Eiban – seven minutes before the break.
Eintracht emerged fired up and created several gilt-edged opportunities at the start of the second period, Marco Russ twice drawing good saves from Eiban. It didn't take long for the second goal to follow, Haller dancing past Matthias Strohmaier on the edge of the box and finishing coolly in the 58th minute. As Schweinfurt hunted a goal, spaces began to appear behind the hosts' defence: de Guzman took full advantage of the gaps opening up five minutes after Haller's second, driving towards the box before playing a clever pass to Wolf, who finished with aplomb from the edge of the box. The game already up, both sides rang the changes, with substitute Blum latching onto Jovic's through-ball to mark his first appearance of the season with a goal and round off a fine victory five minutes from time.
Although Schweinfurt were well organised and tough to break down, it was a deserved victory for the Bundesliga side. There was plenty of huffing and puffing from both sides in the first half, but after the interval the Eagles' class told, Haller once again proving his predatory qualities and firing Kovac's troops to a place in the last 16 (ties to be played on 19/20 December).
Hradecky – Falette, Russ, Salcedo – Willems, Wolf (Medojevic, 67') – Boateng, de Guzman – Barkok (Stendera, 46') – Jovic, Haller (Blum, 81')
0-1 Haller (14')
0-2 Haller (58')
0-3 Wolf (63')
0-4 Blum (85')