Paciencia brace fires Eintracht into next round
The Eagles are through to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League after Goncalo Paciencia’s brace earned Adi Hütter’s side a 2-1 victory over FC Flora on Thursday evening.
Birthday boy Paciencia gave Eintracht the lead with a precise header, but Vlasiy Sinyavskiy equalised for Flora against the run of play. However, Paciencia ended the Estonian side’s hopes of an unlikely comeback in the second half, slotting home from the penalty spot to secure the Eagles’ place in the next round, where they will face FC Vaduz.
Personnel: Full debut for Joveljic
Hütter made three changes to the team that won 2-1 in Tallinn last week. Almamy Toure replaced captain David Abraham in defence, while Daichi Kamada started in midfield in place of Mijat Gacinovic. With Ante Rebic sidelined due to a back injury, 19-year-old summer signing Dejan Joveljic was handed his full debut for the club in attack.
First half: Eintracht lead - but not for long
Clear-cut opportunities were few and far between in an uneventful opening 20 minutes at the Commerzbank-Arena. Dominik Kohr drilled a powerful shot just wide of Matvei Igonen’s left-hand post, before Paciencia forced the Flora custodian into an easy save following a mazy run. Joveljic, who scored his first competitive goal for the Eagles in last week’s first leg, then went close with a header from Danny da Costa’s cross as the hosts began to turn the screw.
Paciencia eventually gave Hütter’s side the lead, nodding da Costa’s delivery past Igonen and into the far corner of the net. The Eagles were ahead for only four minutes, however: Konstantin Vassiljev’s precise pass found Sinyavskiy, who beat Toure before guiding the ball past Felix Wiedwald and into the corner.
Second half: Flora pay the penalty
Visibly rattled by Flora’s equaliser, Eintracht started the second half with greater urgency and soon got their just rewards. Da Costa’s long-range effort struck the elbow of Peeter Järvelaid inside the penalty area, allowing Paciencia to confidently stroke home the resulting spot-kick and restore the Eagles’ two-goal aggregate cushion. The 25-year-old very nearly completed his hat-trick less than ten minutes later, but narrowly missed the target with an audacious bicycle kick.
Flora rarely threatened after that, allowing Eintracht to dominate possession without creating any opportunities to extend their lead. The majority of the 48,000 fans packed inside the Commerzbank-Arena were more than happy to settle for a 2-1 victory, which clinches Eintracht’s place in the third qualifying round of the competition.
Summary: Onwards and upwards!
The confidence of this new-look Eintracht side appears to be growing by the game as we approach the first domestic encounters of the new season. Hütter’s side can now turn their attentions to the next round against Vaduz, who beat Fehervar FC 2-1 on aggregate to seal a date with Eintracht.
Wiedwald - Toure, Hasebe, Ndicka - Kohr (Fernandes 75’), Torró - da Costa (Durm 85’), Kostic - Kamada - Joveljic (Gacinovic 67’), Paciencia
1-0 Paciencia (36’)
1-1 Sinyavskiy (40’)
2-1 Paciencia (pen. 54’)