Frankfurt 1-1 Rangers (5-4 pens): Ramsey misses penalty in final loss
It finished 1-1 after 90 minutes in Seville, with Joe Aribo’s opener cancelled out by Rafael Borre as Frankfurt responded impressively to falling behind.
Another 30 minutes was not enough to separate the sides with the scoreboard not troubled, sending the Europa League final to the spot for the second season in a row.
Ramsey, introduced in the dying minutes of extra-time, was denied by the legs of Kevin Trapp and Borre stepped up to make it five perfect penalties for Frankfurt and secure European glory for the German club.
Frankfurt started the match brightly, though their captain Sebastian Rode suffered a nasty cut to the head in the opening minutes after he was caught by a high boot from John Lundstram. The Rangers midfielder was fortunate not to be booked.
Allan McGregor was called into action twice in quick succession, to deny Daichi Kamada and then Djibril Sow, before the veteran goalkeeper tipped Ansgar Knauff’s effort behind for a corner. Filip Kostic decided to take matters into his own hands and had a five-minute spell of operating a shoot on sight policy, failing to produce anything from it.
Rangers grew into the half and started to cause Frankfurt problems, with Aribo firing wide from just outside the box before Lundstram had a looping header tipped over as it finished goalless after a nervy 45 minutes.
It was almost a disastrous start to the second-half for Rangers, as Jesper Lindstrom’s deflected strike left McGregor completely wrong-footed, but everyone in blue was relieved to see it fly inches wide.
Just before the hour mark, Aribo sent the Rangers end delirious as he fired the Scottish side in front. Sow flicked a poor headed past his defence and when Tuta slipped at the worst possible time, Aribo was clean through. He took his time before slotting it past Trapp for the biggest goal of his career.
Kamada missed a massive chance to level for Frankfurt, as he lifted an effort over McGregor and onto the roof of the net, but Rangers only survived for another two minutes before the goal did come.
Kostic whipped in a brilliant low cross, Connor Goldson let it run through at the near post and Borre was there to get across Calvin Bassey and finish smartly.
Frankfurt pressed for what would likely have been a winner, as Jens Hauge off the bench curled an effort over the bar when free 20 yards out. As the clock ticked towards stoppage-time, Kostic drilled a low ball across the face of goal that whistled just wide of the far post. Another 30 minutes were required.
A slip from Bassey let Borre in early in extra-time, but the young defender shown superb pace and desire to get back and stop the Frankfurt striker getting his second of the night.
Borna Barisic had a fierce strike kept out, before Ajdin Hrustic dragged an effort wide for Frankfurt from outside the area and Kristijan Jakic cut a shot just over McGregor’s goal.
Rangers’ big moment came in the 118th minute, seconds after Ramsey and Kemar Roofe has been introduced. The striker immediately made the run in behind and squared it for Ryan Kent, who somehow was denied by Trapp from close range. James Tavernier had a free-kick saved in the dying seconds, as the final went to penalties.
Six perfect spot-kicks started the shootout, before Ramsey stepped up and sent his effort straight down the middle, within range of the boot of Trapp. Kostic confirmed Frankfurt’s advantage and although Roofe extended the shootout, Borre lifted his penalty with minimal fuss over McGregor to spark wild celebrations in the Frankfurt end.