Frankfurt vs. Mainz: the unequal cup derby

Frankfurt vs. mainz: the unequal cup derby

The memory of this rough day in may lets go at eintracht frankfurt no one more. To the frankfurt fan masses in berlin. To the mood in the olympic stadium.

"I want to go back to berlin," exclaimed eintracht president peter fischer at his club’s general meeting. But on the way to the final match of the DFB cup, a new team awaits on wednesday evening (18.30 o’clock) in the quarterfinals first a rhein-main derby against FSV mainz 05.

"So far, you have only ever seen silhouettes of berlin. But before the quarterfinals, you can see the goal a little clearer," said frankfurt’s coach niko kovac. "We know what it’s like to be in the cup final. Everybody who was there last year wanted to go there again. We lost that final game against dortmund too. We might have liked to revise that."

Frankfurt vs. Mainz is not a derby that people in the rhine-main area look forward to for weeks on end. For this, both unions lack a common history, for both are too different in their orientation and sheer grossness. But frankfurt and mainz always manage to clash just when the stakes are high for at least one of them.

Two years ago, eintracht would have been relegated if they hadn’t scored a lucky goal just before the end to win 2-1 against mainz. And last may, on the penultimate matchday, the 05ers were in danger of falling back to the relegation zone because they were beaten by frankfurt 0:2 after just one hour. In one of the most spectacular halftimes in mainz’s bundesliga history, they turned the game around and won 4:2.

This time it is about the entry into the cup semifinals. "This is a horny competition. And we want to stay unbeaten in this competition tomorrow night," said mainz coach sandro schwarz. "If you’re not on fire tomorrow, you’re completely out of place."

The mainzer go into this game in many respects clearly weaker – and not only because sandro schwarz and also his defender jean-philippe gbamin have cooled down so much.

While eintracht can afford to regard their 0:3 in augsburg blob as a minor setback and "part of a development" (kovac), the 05ers have fallen back to the relegation place after their most recent defeat against bayern munchen. They are back in the midst of a relegation battle in the bundesliga – exactly where they were before their epic 4-2 win over eintracht in may. This team has not yet made any decisive progress in the past few months under schwarz.

The cup as an encouragement for the relegation fight: that’s how you could see this game in mainz, too. But black wants nothing to do with it. The 39-year-old lives in frankfurt and is eager for the semifinals and this very duel. "We do not want to deal with the bundesliga, but only with the DFB cup," he said. "The goal must be to get to berlin."

Mainz have never been in a cup final before. But when they talk about it, they already sound like the frankfurters. "There is no one who does not dream of being in berlin once in his life and seeing the logo of mainz 05 behind the goal in the olympiastadion. Everybody’s dying for it," said sports director rouven schroder.

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