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Muani's goal separates Frankfurt and Darmstadt in Hessen derby

By Ultan Corcoran   @UltanCorcoran

A Hessen derby would be the perfect tonic to welcome Darmstadt back to the Bundesliga. Frankfurt lay in wait for the promoted side.

Dino Toppmoller set up in a 3-4-3 formation, with the talismanic figure of Kolo Muani leading the line. It would be the French striker's goal that afforded Frankfurt a 1-0 win, despite an overall flat performance.
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The action would get off to a sour note in the opening minutes. Frankfurt skipper, Sebastian Rode, forced off having twisted his ankle. His replacement Jakic came closest to any form of a breakthrough on 20 minutes. One of very few chances created in that opening quarter.

Before the hour mark, ‘Die Lilien’ created their most dangerous chance of the game. Honsak’s effort palmed clear by the ever-alert Kevin Trapp. However, it would be a Kolo Muani goal five minutes before the break that would give ‘Die Adler’ a 1-0 lead. Lindstrom slipped Phillip Max in down the left flank. The German wing-back waited before delivering the perfect ball for Muani who tapped in from four yards.

Although Frankfurt bossed possession after the restart, Darmstadt almost clawed themselves a goal back on 53 minutes. Honsak once more causing alarm as his cross was destined for Hornby to tap in. The brilliance of Trapp read the danger and intervened. Once again, the German international’s goal was under threat after the hour mark. Substitute Pheiffer thundered his header off the left upright. The rebound fell kindly for Klarer, but his goal bound effort would be accidently blocked by Honsak. Darmstadt lacking a bit of lady luck on their side.

Lindstrom’s speculative backheeled effort was perhaps Frankfurt’s last of the evening on 75 minutes. The Dane should have left the ball for Ebimbe who was arriving late. Darmstadt made a good account of themselves all evening. They showed no fear and pushed right up until the final minutes in search of an equaliser. Five minutes of added time made no change to the scoreline as Frankfurt held on. Darmstadt perhaps unlucky not to receive a point for their efforts.

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