Meier returns as Eintracht beat Kazanka 5-3
Eintracht Frankfurt eased to a 5-3 victory over Russian third-tier outfit FC Kazanka on Wednesday afternoon. Marijan Cavar was handed his debut for the club, while Alex Meier made his comeback after nearly 10 months on the sidelines.
Branimir Hrgota, Marco Fabian, Danny Blum, Luka Jovic and Daichi Kamada all got on the scoresheet in a deserved win at the Riederwaldstadion. Winter signing Marijan Cavar played in defensive midfield on his debut for the club, while Under-19 defender Noah Schmitt was also handed an opportunity to impress. Veteran forward Alex Meier, whose last Eintracht appearance came in the 2017 DFB Cup final, made his long-awaited comeback from injury after 73 minutes.
The Eagles started the game brightly, hemming the visitors inside their own half from the get-go. They soon raced into a 2-0 lead, Hrgota slotting home Kamada’s diagonal pass on 21 minutes before Marco Fabian doubled Eintracht’s advantage from the penalty spot after being upended in the area by Roman Tugarev. The Russian club pulled a goal back through Artem Galadzhan, only for Danny Blum to restore SGE’s two-goal lead before the interval with a powerful effort from the edge of the box.
The goals kept on coming after half-time, Tugarev converting a penalty following Aymen Barkok’s foul on Denis Anisimov before Jovic headed home Taleb Tawatha’s precise cross to make it 4-2 on 65 minutes. Galadzhan netted Kazanka’s third not long afterwards but Eintracht soon put the result beyond doubt, thanks in no small part to Meier. The 35-year-old’s intelligent ball found Hrgota, who teed up Kamada to complete the scoring.
“The team showed good movement and it was a good workout for us,” assistant coach Armin Reutershahn said afterwards. “We’re pleased that Alex Meier is back with us.”
“It’s good to be back,” added Meier. “Everything feels fine, which is important. I hope I don’t feel any pain in the foot now. I aim to play competitively again before the end of the season, otherwise I wouldn’t put myself through all the rehab and everything else involved in returning to fitness.”
Zimmermann - Willems (Tawatha 46’), Falette (Salcedo 46’), Russ (Schmitt 61’), Barkok - Stendera (Gacinovic 61’), Cavar - Blum (Jovic 61’) - Fabian (Meier 74’), Kamada - Hrgota.
1-0 Hrgota (21’)
2-0 Fabian (pen 23’)
2-1 Galadzhan (29’)
3-1 Blum (41’)
3-2 Tugarev (pen 61’)
4-2 Jovic (65’)
4-3 Galadzhan (73’)
5-3 Kamada (79’)