Saturday May 25, 2024

HJK lose to Frankfurt in Conference League

Published : 10 Nov 2023, 00:05

  By Andreas Schirmer, dpa
Frankfurt's Omar Marmoush (L) and Helsinki's Miro Tenho battle for the ball during the UEFA Europa Conference League Group G soccer match between HJK Helsinki and Eintracht Frankfurt at the Bolt Arena at Helsinki in Finland. Photo: Arne Dedert/dpa.

Eintracht Frankfurt advanced into the Conference League knock-out stages with a 1-0 victory at HJK Helsinki with two games to spare on Thursday.

Frankfurt had thrashed the Finns 6-0 two weeks ago in Germany but things weren't not as easy for them in the reverse fixture.

The 2022 Europa League champions failed to get the ball across the line in a big goalmouth scramble early on, and it took them until the half-hour mark to break the deadlock from Fares Chaibi's stunning curling shot into the far right top corner.

Chaibi was denied by goalkeeper Niki Mäenpaa early in the second half, and Frankfurt had further chances against harmless hosts.

"A 1-0 is never safe until the end. We should have scored the second and done things better," Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp told broadcasters RTL.

Frankfurt were assured of a place in the knock-outs with the victory, and because Aberdeen failed to beat leaders PAOK in a 2-2 draw in the other Group G game.

PAOK are one point ahead of Frankfurt, ahead of their meeting in Germany on the penultimate matchday on November 30.

The group winner advances straight into the last 16 while the runner-up goes into a play-off tie against a third-placed Europa League team.

"We are fighting with PAOK for first place but now have it in our own hands to win the group," Trapp said.