Eintracht stage UCL comeback win over Sporting to reach first-ever last-16

Eintracht Frankfurt players celebrate after scoring a goal against Sporting CP in the Champions League.
Eintracht Frankfurt players celebrate after scoring a goal against Sporting CP in the Champions League.
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Eintracht Frankfurt staged a second-half comeback, scoring twice in 10 minutes to beat hosts Sporting CP 2-1 on Tuesday and qualify for the Champions League last-16 for the first time, knocking the Portuguese side out of the competition.

The Europa League champions pulled themselves out of the depths of despair at halftime when they were facing certain elimination and with goals from Daichi Kamada and Randal Kolo Muani after the break left the pitch as unlikely winners.

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"We didn't start well at the beginning of the game. But we are a comeback team, we gave everything in the second half and deservedly make the next round," said 32-year-old Eintracht captain and man-of-the-match Sebastian Rode.

"We continue our European adventure and that's the next highlight for Eintracht Frankfurt."

Eintracht finished Group D in second place on 10 points from six games, with Tottenham Hotspur top on 11 after their last-gasp 2-1 victory at bottom club Marseille. Sporting are third and will continue in the Europa League.

Sporting needed only a point to advance to the knockout stages but would have fallen a goal behind in the 13th minute were it not for a reflex save by Sporting keeper Antonio Adan to stop teammate Paulinho from heading an own goal.

The hosts had Nuno Santos taken off with what looked like a serious ankle injury early in the game, but still took the lead when winger Arthur Gomes volleyed home at the far post after a looping cross was headed on in the 39th minute.

Eintracht hardly got a look-in during the first half and were clearly lacking ideas, with Sporting doing really well to quickly shut down spaces.

But Sporting lost their way after the break and the visitors came out fighting, desperate for a win to secure a top-two finish.

The pressure soon paid off when a handball by Sporting captain Sebastian Coates in the 62nd gave Frankfurt a penalty and Kamada drew them level with a well-taken spot kick.

France international Kolo Muani then powered into the box and drilled home the winner in the 72nd to complete their comeback and secure a place in the knockout stages.