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Eintracht Frankfurt passes the character test in Cannstatt

Es runs at Eintracht. After the false start in the Champions League (0:3 against Sporting Lisbon) and the nasty Bundesliga misstep against Wolfsburg (0:1), the fickle Frankfurt got back on track within seven days. The 1-0 win in Marseille and the 3-1 win at VfB Stuttgart on Saturday point the way ahead for coach Oliver Glasner’s team after the two-week national team break. “If we take the steps that hurt, then we can achieve a lot,” said goalkeeper Kevin Trapp after the third win of the season in Swabia. With eleven points after seven games, the top places are within reach for the reinvigorated Hessians.

The encounter in Baden-Württemberg marked the end of the second English week in a row for Eintracht. Nevertheless, in the 94 minutes of the game, Frankfurt ran six kilometers more than Stuttgart – “and that four days after this intensive game in Marseille with 122 kilometers unwound,” as Glasner proudly emphasized. His team pulled themselves together in Bad Cannstatt for a tour de force with which the strong-willed players passed the character test in everyday Bundesliga operations. The coach “said that everyone says we are tired. Then he said: We are not tired, we are Eintracht Frankfurt. We showed that on the pitch,” defense chief Makoto Hasebe said afterwards.

Glasner’s imploring words served the team as a stimulant. “The boys threw everything in again. Big compliment! It was the fifth game in 14 days.” With these words, the coach praised the “passionate” performance and the “good mentality” of the team. “We didn’t manage, we wanted to win here.” The symbol of victory was defender Evan Ndicka, who played in a turban after suffering a ruptured eye wound until his eye swelled shut. “He looked like Rocky Balboa in his prime,” joked the coach.

Daichi Kamada felt a special boost. The 26-year-old Japanese was a key player and match winner in one person. The elegant attacking player played a key role in all three goals: Kamada initiated Sebastian Rode’s header to make it 1-0 (6th minute) with a free kick. He scored the 2:0 (55th) himself – this time his slightly deflected free kick landed in the goal. Goal number three (88th) by Kristijan Jakic prepared the Japanese with a corner kick. “In the beginning I was tired. Then we scored and I was fresh again,” reported Kamada. His sense of achievement was the fresh kick for Frankfurt’s best in the duel with VfB, for which Tiago Tomas had reduced the score to 1:2 in the 79th minute.

The Japanese international also went a long way on the seventh day of the game, running 11.58 kilometers. His performance record this season in the first division has four goals and three assists, and he also contributed two goals in the 4-0 cup game in Magdeburg. So far, none of my colleagues has been better. “Daichi is in great form,” praised sporting director Markus Krösche. So Kamada has become a solid candidate for the Frankfurt starting XI. “Daichi is very important to us. That’s why he plays every game,” Glasner said before the match.

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