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Eintracht Frankfurt picks up important point against RB Leipzig

The two Frankfurters Makoto Hasebe (l) and Sebastian Rode come onto the pitch before the game / Photo: Arne Dedert/dpa
The two Frankfurters Makoto Hasebe (l) and Sebastian Rode come onto the pitch before the game / Photo: Arne Dedert/dpa

Eintracht Frankfurt defends sixth place in the table with 2:2 against RB Leipzig and secures Europa League participation

Eintracht Frankfurt defended sixth place in the Bundesliga and can continue to dream of the Champions League after an emotional farewell to the careers of captain Sebastian Rode and oldie Makoto Hasebe. The Hessians came from two goals down to draw 2:2 (0:1) against RB Leipzig on Saturday and have thus secured their place in the Europa League.

Xavi Simons with a penalty in the 42nd minute and Benjamin Sesko (46th) gave Leipzig a two-goal cushion, but Hugo Ekitiké (51st) and Omar Marmoush (69th/foul penalty) equalized for Eintracht. Should Borussia Dortmund win the Champions League on 1 June, Frankfurt will even be in the top flight next season.

Frankfurt dominated the game at the start and created a number of chances, but failed to capitalize on them. Ekitiké and Marmoush both failed to beat RB goalkeeper Janis Blaswich, who was only number two behind Peter Gulacsi in the second half of the season and could leave the club in the summer break.

The Saxons, who have already qualified for the Champions League, initially showed little in attack. It was all the more surprising when the visitors took the lead through a penalty converted by Xavi at the second attempt. The Dutchman had put the first attempt next to the goal, but the ball had not yet been cleared by referee Felix Zwayer. Prior to that, Mario Götze had pulled the goalscorer off his feet in a tackle in the penalty area.

Immediately after the restart, Leipzig scored their second goal. The Frankfurt defence allowed Sesko in the center and the RB striker hammered the ball under the crossbar from around 20 meters, unstoppable for Eintracht keeper Kevin Trapp.

Shortly afterwards, the match had to be interrupted for several minutes. The curious reason: The smoke alarm in the video cube of the Frankfurt Arena was activated due to a large amount of smoke following the use of pyrotechnics. The device was then automatically shut down in the direction of the pitch.

When play resumed, Hesse scored the equalizer straight away. Ekitiké scored with his head after a cross from Angar Knauff. Frankfurt were now pressing, but Leipzig had the next big chance. First, a misplaced return by Eintracht defender Tuta landed on the post, and Eljif Elmas also hit the aluminum with the follow-up shot.

In the wild exchange of blows, it was then Frankfurt's turn again. Marmoush was brought down in a duel with Benjamin Henrichs in the penalty area. After video evidence, Zwayer awarded a penalty, which the fouled player safely converted.

In stoppage time, future soccer retirees Rode and Hasebe finally made their final appearances. The duo were frenetically cheered by the fans when they came on and were given a fitting send-off after the final whistle.

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