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Betis says goodbye to a dream

  •  Pellegrini’s team fell in minute 120 after having forced extra time with an agonizing goal from Borja Iglesias in minute 90. There was plenty of momentum and the Verdiblancos lacked football.


Eintracht Frankfurt

Betis said goodbye to the Europa League after a cruel draw against Eintracht in the last breath of extra time. Borja Iglesias had extended a dream that was definitively shattered and that was sustained largely by the pride of a team that he always knew how to believe. But Panda’s goal in the 90th minute only staved off the pain of the final fall just outside the penalty shootout when Guido’s touch back sent the Eintracht supporters into a frenzy. The Verdiblanco team sighs and now directs its hopes to a League with challenges and a Cup with dreams. The ones that this time exploded in their continental adventure.

There was distribution of respects at the start. Canales, placed next to Guido so that Betis had a better ball exit, was slow to enter the scene. Jakic kept an eye on Fekir. Eintracht’s bet seemed a reflection of the first leg, with Sow throwing drives and Lindstrom looking for alliances with Borré between the spaces of Bartra and Edgar. There was a puzzle on the scene. And Sabaly was the only one who seemed to elude Eintracht’s control. He threatened Pellegrini’s team by warning their rival, but it was Eintracht who had the first clear chance at Knauff’s boots after a masterful pass from Sow. The crossbar saved Rui Silva.

Every construction attempts by Betis turned into a traffic jam. Pellegrini’s team took only 20 minutes to understand that the scene was repeating itself. Guido looked puzzled. Unable to cover spaces. Unable to execute his greatest specialty. Perhaps the merit of an Eintracht as hermetic as it is brave. The German team arrived more and better, with Kostic damaging Sabaly and Sow becoming omnipresent. The break was air for Betis, as had been the final whistle of Villamarín’s first leg.

Pellegrini had to change something and he did. Juanmi replaced Miranda and Ruibal delayed his position. More courage, less control. The lines were broken and Eintracht threatened to be more fearful. It was then that Betis built more. But he also invited his opponent to be lethal in the spaces. In that festival of blows nobody showed his punch. Juanmi had an option with a header that Trapp saved and Borja Iglesias came on stage to change history. Each attack seemed more impetuous than real until Ruibal’s claw opened an unexpected space for Fekir, who served the area for Borja Iglesias to open the doors of extra time in Frankfurt. The Verdiblanco fans went crazy and the team believed again.

The extension exposed a more liberated Betis. He abandoned his fears and Eintracht showed theirs. But the forces were already scarce on both sides. Fekir left touched and Glasner revolutionized his team without finding a drop of improvement. It was Borja Iglesias who once again had the chance to beat Trapp, but fate told him no. The stopped ball entered the scene to fire Betis from a dream that seemed close to being extended. An unnecessary miss. A ball into the area that Rui Silva fails to grab and that Guido involuntarily sends into his own goal after Kostic’s shot. The goal knocked down all the green and white illusions at the gates of the penalty shootout. Pride was not enough for Betis to prolong their dream of walking towards that Sánchez-Pizjuán final.

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