Eintracht Frankfurt are into the DFB Cup semi-finals for the first time since the 2006/2007 season after they beat second-division side Arminia Bielefeld 1-0. Danny Blum got the only goal of the evening in the sixth minute to send Frankfurt through to the final four. Bielefeld pressed for the equaliser in the second half but failed to convert a number of chances, while Frankfurt goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky was in fine form to keep the away side out.
Frankfurt head coach Niko Kovac made five changes to the starting XI after three Bundesliga defeats in a row. Blum was back in the starting line-up, alongside Alex Meier, Aymane Barkok, David Abraham and Omar Mascarell. Defender Marco Russ also marked his return after 285 days having successfully recovered from cancer and was given a standing ovation as he was brought on in stoppage time. Captain Makoto Hasebe was out once again with a fever.
Frankfurt looked nervous to start with at the Commerzbank Arena. Lukas Hradecky played it straight to Christopher Nöthe’s feet but the Bielefeld man could not find the target as he let fly from distance. However Eintracht were celebrating at the other end moments later. A Taleb Tawatha cross beat Bielefeld defender Stephan Salger as he attempted to clear it and found 26-year-old Blum, who finished coolly to put his side in front.
Frankfurt gave themselves some security and took control of the game but rarely threatened to get that second goal. Michael Hector was involved in both of the first half’s most exciting moment. The Jamaican provided Arminia with a great chance after a misplaced pass but they could not convert. Hector then got his head to a corner from Blum up the other end of the field but he could not finish from three metres.
Bielefeld head coach Jürgen Kramny added to his attack in the second half, bringing on Andreas Volgsammer for Sören Brandy to help shift the momentum to the away side. Volgsammer himself looked set to find the equaliser for the minnows but an outstanding Hradecky save maintained the hosts’ lead.
Frankfurt failed to take a hold of the game against an increasingly attacking Bielefeld side who made the most of the space given to them, while the Bundesliga outfit continued to lack concentration on the counterattack. Bielefeld on the other hand created some excellent opportunities in the final minutes of the match and Hradecky had to spring into action once again to keep out efforts from Fabian Klos and Nöthe. His strong reflexes meant that Eintracht held on and are into the semi-finals.