In their first European tournament since 2007, Aberdeen’s return to Europe couldn’t be much tougher – as they travelled to Frankfurt am Main to face 2022 Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt.
This Frankfurt side is certainly weaker than it was last season given the departure of goal scorer Randal Kolo Muani to PSG, and they have had a shaky start to their Bundesliga campaign, with just 6 points from their first four games.
Despite this, they’d be hopeful that they could record a decisive win over Aberdeen, who currently sit second-bottom of the Scottish Premiership.
FRA: Trapp; Smolčić, Koch, Pacho; Ebimbe, Rode, Skhiri, Nkounkou; Aaronson, Marmoush, Götze
ABE: Roos; Devlin, Gartenmann, Rubežić, Jensen, Mackenzie; Polvara, Shinnie, Clarkson, McGrath; Miovski
The start of the game was all Frankfurt; they patiently held onto the ball waiting for openings, and it immediately seemed like it would be a long night for the Aberdeen players, who couldn’t seem to get a hold of the ball. Frankfurt finally managed to convert this into an opportunity in the 8th minute, when a through ball into the box led to a penalty, after Aberdeen’s Mackenzie clattered into Dina Ebimbe. The referee immediately signalled for a penalty, and after a quick VAR check, Omar Marmoush stepped up to the spot. The Egyptian striker remained calm, passing the ball into the bottom right corner of the net. Frankfurt led, and Aberdeen had an intimidating uphill battle ahead of them.Embed from Getty Images
Marmoush almost doubled his tally just minutes later when he found himself clean through on goal, but after he took a moment too long to act, he was forced wide, and the attack came to nothing.
The pressure continued, and a second goal for Frankfurt looked inevitable, but after a quick counter-attack, Aberdeen shockingly found an equaliser. The ball was squared across to Dante Polvara who made the most of his rare opportunity, smashing the ball into the roof of the net.
Chances were few and far between for the remainder of the first period. Eintracht Frankfurt enjoyed most of the ball, going into the break with an impressive 84% possession but they failed to turn this into a second goal and, at half time, the game remained 1-1.Embed from Getty Images
The pressure continued into the second half, but Aberdeen’s defence remained solid, preventing Frankfurt from having any clear-cut chances. The breakthrough finally came at the hour mark, when Leeds United loanee Robert Koch managed to get his head on the end of a corner swung in from the right-hand side.
The score remained 2-1 heading into the final ten minutes, and it seemed like another goal was unlikely with the game having slowed down massively since the excitement of the first half. Aberdeen began to push for a late equaliser, desperately forcing balls into the box in the hope that it would amount to something.Embed from Getty Images
After a scrappy last few minutes the referee’s whistle blew and the game was over. In the end Koch’s goal was enough to secure a narrow victory for the home side, but despite the scoreline there were still a number of positives for Aberdeen to take away from this game, and the Scottish side should be feeling hopeful going into their next fixture.
Frankfurt’s next game in the competition is away against PAOK on 5 October, while Aberdeen will be hosting HJK on the same day.