Rangers suffer Europa League heartache as Frankfurt win tense final on penalties | Football | Sport


Rangers’ dreams of European glory melted in the heat of an agonising penalty shoot out defeat in Seville. Aaron Ramsey’s penalty was saved by Eintracht goalkeeper Kevin Trapp – and Rafael Borre fitted in the winning spot kick to give the Bundesliga side the trophy in baking heat in Spain.

Rangers had led in the final through Joe Aribo’s goal, only to see Colombian Borre poke home the equaliser – but it was only a brilliant late save from Trapp in extra time from Ryan Kent that denied Van Bronkhorst’s team glory. Rangers, 150 years old this year, had been hoping for their first European trophy since 1972.

More than a hundred thousand Rangers fans had poured into Seville over the last few days – though only around 18,000 had tickets. Rangers, fresh from overcoming another Bundesliga side in RB Leipzig in the semi-finals, were facing a team who were unbeaten in the competition up until last night – and had ousted Barcelona and West Ham on the way to the final.

John Lundstram was lucky not to pick up a booking in a breakneck start, for a foot-high challenge that left Sebastian Rode with blood pouring from a cut. But Frankfurt settled better, and 40 year old Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor pulled off a double save from Daichi Kamada and Djibril Sow – then did even better when he tipped Ansgaur Knauff’s shot round the post. Then Evan N’Dicka nodded wide, and Sow fired over.

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But Rangers began to find their feet, as Joe Aribo curled his shot just wide, and though the dangerous Filip Kostic twice missed, Lundstram saw his header saved by Kevin Trapp, and then Ryan Jack missed the target. Rangers came under severe pressure as Frankfurt moved the ball skilfully, Jesper Lindstrom seeing his shot deflected an inch wide.

And Van Bronckhorst’s side rode their luck as Connor Goldson escaped when he looked to have brought down Rafael Borre – but VAR remarkably ruled no penalty. Rangers at last broke out as Ryan Kent sliced wide – and then they struck. Brazilian Tuta slipped as Aribo pounced on the ball – and the makeshift striker raced away to slot his shot coolly past Trapp.


Frankfurt though responded. Kamada should have levelled when Goldson lost the ball – but lifted a golden chance over. Two minutes later though the German side were deservedly level, as Kostic fired the ball across the face of goal – and Borre nipped in to poke the ball home.

Extra time was just as tight, Scott Arfield shooting over for Rangers, and Borna Braisic seeing his rocket shot saved, before Eintracht sub Ajdin Hrustic fired past the post.

Trapp stopped Ryan Kent’s shot, and Eintracht sub Kristijan Jakic’s long range effort was just over. But Trapp saved his side when he brilliantly stopped Kent’s point blank effort.

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