BERLIN – Striker Daichi Kamada netted Eintracht Frankfurt’s first goal as the top-flight side mounted a late fightback to beat third-division Waldhof Mannheim 5-3 in the German Cup first round on Sunday.
Eintracht Frankfurt twice fell behind at Carl-Benz Stadion, and the cup winners for the 2017-2018 season needed a late hat-trick from Ante Rebic to avoid another humiliating first-round exit after having been dumped out of the competition at the same stage by fourth-tier Ulm last year.
Valmir Sulejmani struck twice in the opening 11 minutes as Mannheim raced into a shock 2-0 lead, but Frankfurt managed to draw level before the break, through goals from Kamada and Filip Kostic.
Kamada, who returned to Frankfurt this summer after a loan spell at Sint-Truiden, pulled one back in the 21st minute by hitting a half volley, and Kostic’s long-range shot in first-half stoppage time restored parity.
Mannheim went ahead again when Jan-Hendrik Marx fired home 18 minutes from time, but Rebic prevented the upset, scoring three goals in a 12-minute spell from the 76th to put the game beyond the hosts.