Randal Kolo Muani (R) celebrates after scoring the winning goal
Frankfurt (AFP) - Eintracht Frankfurt edged closer to qualifying for the Champions League knockout stage from a wide open Group D, defeating Marseille 2-1 at home on Wednesday.
Goals from Japan’s Daichi Kamada and striker Randal Kolo Muani before the break helped Frankfurt keep their qualification hopes alive.
The Europa League winners are playing in Europe’s premier competition for the first time since losing the 1960 European Cup final to Real Madrid.
But victory at second-placed Sporting Lisbon in six days’ time would be enough to be sure of reaching the last 16.
“We can make the knockouts,” Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp told DAZN.
“That (victory) took a lot out of us. We played a really good game.”
All four teams in the group are separated by just two points after leaders Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with Sporting.
“If there is such a thing as a team victory, then that’s one of those,” said Frankfurt coach Oliver Glasner.
Marseille, the 1993 European champions, can also still go through with victory at home against Spurs next week.
“What I didn’t like was that we weren’t tough enough defensively at the start of the game,” Marseille boss Igor Tudor said, before dubbing next week’s clash with Spurs as the “match of the year”.
“We did not start the game strong enough mentally with a real desire not to concede goals.”
Spurred on by a packed stadium, Frankfurt started the game furiously and had the ball in the back of the net before the fog of the pre-game pyrotechnics had cleared.
Frankfurt broke down the right side, with Evan Ndicka hooking a low cross across the face of goal.
Shaping to shoot, Jesper Lindstroem hopped over the ball, leaving it for an unmarked Kamada to score his 10th goal in all competitions this season.
Lindstroem provided Frankfurt with a chance to double their lead 15 minutes later when he slid the ball through to put Christopher Lenz one-on-one with goalkeeper Pau Lopez, but the Spaniard kept it out.
Marseille hit back almost immediately, with Matteo Guendouzi slamming in a perfect curling cross from Congolese defender Chancel Mbemba.
Frankfurt answered with a goal of their own, with Mario Goetze laying on a pinpoint chip for Kolo Muani to score his first Champions League goal.
If the first half belonged to Frankfurt’s attacking trident of Kamada, Goetze and Kolo Muani, the second period was a showcase of goalkeeper Trapp’s talents.
The former Paris Saint-Germain ‘keeper kept his side in the game after the break, with fingertip saves in the 50th and 58th minutes maintaining Frankfurt’s one-goal advantage.
“Whenever we wobbled, Kevin was there,” said Glasner. “As the manager, I’m incredibly proud of my team.”