Frankfurt aim to seal fifth cup triumph
30 years after their last DFB Cup triumph Eintracht Frankfurt aim to seal the title and bid farewell to head coach Niko Kovac with his first title as a coach. "We'll encounter overwhelming opponents," said sporting director Bruno Hübner ahead of Saturday evening's match, "but we'll do everything to clinch the cup."
After beating VfL Bochum 1-0 in the final in 1988, Frankfurt had two chances to win the cup but lost 1-0 to FC Bayern in 2006 and 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund last season. The men from Hesse aim to beat the German record champions and qualify for European competition.
A title for the Europa League
"If you want to achieve something, everything starts with thinking. Thinking determines your actions. And if you have no dreams you can't accomplish them. We made it to the final because the lads absolutely wanted it and demonstrated that in every situation," said the Berlin-born coach, who will be in Eintracht's dugout for the last time on Saturday.
Frankfurt slipped to eighth on the last Bundesliga matchday and can only qualify for the Europa League with a triumph. "We have to reach the maximum tomorrow, display everything that has made us strong this season and hope Bayern won't have such a good day," Kovac demanded on Friday. Board member Fredi Bobic declared: "We can't expect to beat them. But we'll be awkward opponents."
Kovac aiming for 'nice farewell gift'
The 46-year-old Kovac will succeed his counterpart Jupp Heynckes this summer, but that did not matter on the eve of the final at Berlin's sold-out Olympic Stadium. Quite the contrary: both coaches were fully focused on the match and determined to win on Saturday. Kovac said he wants to make his team "a nice farewell gift."
"It's virtually worthy of a Nobel Prize to advance to the final with Frankfurt two times in a row," said Kovac after the semi-final victory over Schalke: "We have to enjoy it, even if we're aware of our opponents." The former Croatia international and head coach thinks his men are primed for the match: "The ease is there, which is good. The tension will rise as the matchday progresses and culminate when the match starts."