Sports Desk, Apr 28 (EFE).- Eintracht Frankfurt brought their Barcelona-beating form to Thursday’s Europa League semifinal first leg against West Ham United, prevailing 2-1, while RB Leipzig eked out a 1-0 victory over Rangers.
The atmosphere at London Stadium was electric for the Hammers’ first continental semifinal since 1976, when the English side beat Eintracht to reach the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
The excitement turned to alarm for the home supporters when Ansgar Knauff staked the visitors to a 1-0 lead just 49 seconds after the opening whistle.
Rafael Santos Borre lofted a cross into the box and Knauff headed in from the far post.
The hosts regrouped and only the post stopped Jarrod Bowen from leveling the score in the 14th minute.
The equalizer came seven minutes later from Michail Antonio, assisted by Manuel Lanzini on a play that began with Kurt Zouma’s free kick.
Knauff missed the mark on a chance for a second goal in the 39th minute, but Daichi Kamada made it 2-1 for Eintracht in the 54th, knocking in the rebound after Hammers goalkeeper Alphonse Areola denied Djibril Sow.
The post thwarted Kamada in the 79th minute and the margin remained one heading into stoppage time, which saw the Eintracht cross-bar rob Bowen of what would have been the goal of the tournament.
Declan Rice delivered a cross into the box and Bowen executed a brilliant overhead kick.
In Leipzig, the Red Bulls had 71 percent possession and held Rangers to one shot on target, but the score was still 0-0 when the hosts won a corner in the 85th minute.
While Rangers’ Fashion Sakala cleared the corner, Leipzig’s Angeliño beat the defenders to the ball and volleyed past keeper Allan McGregor for the match winner. EFE