Rafael Borre living his 'dream' after Frankfurt edge Rangers to win Europa League

Colombian scored equaliser and winning penalty in shootout to guide the German club to their first European trophy in 42 years

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Eintracht Frankfurt forward Rafael Borre said Wednesday night's Europa League triumph was a dream come true after the Colombian forward proved the hero in the dramatic victory over Rangers in Seville.

Borre cancelled out Joe Aribo's 57th-minute opener before slotting home the winning spot kick in the shootout to complete Frankfurt's remarkable triumph after Aaron Ramsey, who came on as a substitute with three minutes of extra time left, missed his penalty.

With the victory inside the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, Frankfurt won their first European trophy since 1980 and booked their place in next season's Champions League group stage.

"I dreamed of tonight, of a historic night for the club, a historic night for me," Borre said. "It's my first European title. I will keep this memory forever."

By lifting the trophy, Frankfurt completed an impressive European campaign that saw the Bundesliga club go unbeaten throughout the group and knockout stages, eliminating Real Betis, Barcelona, and West Ham en route to the final.

"We played 13 matches in Europe and we did not lose a single one," said Eintracht manager Oliver Glasner. "We took it step-by-step and at the end we were rewarded. I have no words to express what I feel for the players. We will celebrate for the next few days now."

With a capacity of just under 43,000, Sevilla's Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan ground was bouncing from the first whistle until the last, and it was Rangers fans who were first sent into raptures when the Scottish side took the lead, capitalising on two dreadful Frankfurt errors, each compounding the other.

First, Djibril Sow misjudged a header in midfield, sending it back behind his own defence for the lively Aribo to latch onto, and then as Frankfurt's Tutu chased, he slipped, gifting a free run to the striker, who slotted home.

However, Eintracht drew level in the 69th minute as Filip Kostic was given too much space out wide to cross and then in the middle, Connor Goldson and Calvin Bassey both hesitated to clear. Borre nipped between them and prodded in.

Rafael Borre is mobbed by Eintracht Frankfurt teammates after scoring the winning penalty in the Europa League final. AFP

There were precious few opportunities in the final minutes but the contest became stretched in extra time.

Rangers might have won it in the 118th minute as the sprinting Ryan Kent arrived at the back post only for Eintracht goalkeeper Kevin Trapp to make a sensational save.

Trapp made another huge contribution in the shootout when saving Ramsey's effort with his foot, before Borre sealed a famous victory for Frankfurt.

“It feels incredible,” Trapp said. “I’m trying to catch my breath still. For us, for Frankfurt, for the region. For the whole of Germany I think it’s a wonderful thing. To be able to give back to our fans this way is so special. We are all heroes. Without the fans we wouldn't have made it."

Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp makes a vital save from Ryan Kent deep into extra time. AP

While Eintracht and their fans celebrated wildly, Rangers were left crestfallen after missing out on a major piece of silverware and the chance to compete in next season's Champions League - and the riches the tournament provides. They will need to regroup quickly, though, with the Scottish Cup final against Hearts on Saturday.

"I’m devastated. I’m proud of every single one of the lads, the club and the fans," Rangers captain James Tavernier told BT Sport. "We wanted to make everyone proud but we didn’t get over the line. To lose on penalties it hurts. We went toe-to-toe with them.

"It gives us fuel to push us on, we want to be back in these finals and we have a massive game on Saturday. We are a close-knit group, we’ll get around each other. We’ll recover well because we have a massive game this weekend."

Rangers captain James Tavernier was left 'devastated' after defeat in the Europa League final. Getty

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst shared his captain's disappointment but expressed his pride for his players and urged them to bounce back by winning the Scottish Cup.

"I’m very disappointed. We were very close. At the end the emotions go from high to very low," he said. "I’ve had these moments in my career, losing the World Cup final, it hurts. It’s for us to look ahead now, it feels difficult but we have to. We need to make sure we’re ready on Saturday [Scottish Cup final].

"I said to the players we came so far, we deserved it, I’m very proud of them. We had challenges through injuries. The emotions are down but we have to change it quickly. We have to start all over again. We’re going to work hard and develop as a team."

Updated: May 19, 2022, 4:37 PM