Rangers’ dreams of European glory melted in the warmth of an agonising penalty shoot out defeat in Seville. Aaron Ramsey’s penalty was saved by Eintracht goalkeeper Kevin Trapp – and Rafael Borre fitted within the winning spot kick to provide the Bundesliga side the trophy in baking heat in Spain.
Rangers had led in the ultimate through Joe Aribo’s goal, only to see Colombian Borre poke home the equaliser – but it surely was only a superb late save from Trapp in overtime from Ryan Kent that denied Van Bronkhorst’s team glory. Rangers, 150 years old this 12 months, had been hoping for his or her first European trophy since 1972.
Greater than 100 thousand Rangers fans had poured into Seville over the previous few days – though only around 18,000 had tickets. Rangers, fresh from overcoming one other Bundesliga side in RB Leipzig within the semi-finals, were facing a team who were unbeaten within the competition up until last night – and had ousted Barcelona and West Ham on the solution to the ultimate.
John Lundstram was lucky not to choose 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 higher, and 40 12 months old Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor pulled off a double save from Daichi Kamada and Djibril Sow – then did even higher when he tipped Ansgaur Knauff’s shot around the post. Then Evan N’Dicka nodded wide, and Sow fired over.
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But Rangers began to search out their feet, as Joe Aribo curled his shot just wide, and though the damaging Filip Kostic twice missed, Lundstram saw his header saved by Kevin Trapp, after which Ryan Jack missed the goal. Rangers got here 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 finally broke out as Ryan Kent sliced wide – after which they struck. Brazilian Tuta slipped as Aribo pounced on the ball – and the makeshift striker raced away to fit his shot coolly past Trapp.
Frankfurt though responded. Kamada must have levelled when Goldson lost the ball – but lifted a golden likelihood 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.
Beyond regular 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.