Eintracht Frankfurt run out 5-3 victors at SV Waldhof Mannheim
Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

Champions of Regionalliga Südwest last year, Mannheim looked to pull off a cup upset in the first round of the DFB Pokal. Bernhard Trares's side won their division last year, finishing twenty-one points ahead of runners up Saarbrücken.

In Hutter's first season in charge, then cup-holders Frankfurt lost in the first round to Regionalliga Südwest side SSV Ulm 2-1. Looking to avoid such a defeat, the Eagles fielded a strong side, with new signing Kevin Trapp in goal, and many of those who played in last season's Europa League campaign outfield.

Hutter has taken a liking to youngster Dejan Joveljić, who recently signed after impressing with Red Star Belgrade. With starman Luka Jovic moving to Real Madrid at the start of the 19/20 campaign, and Sebastien Haller finding pastures new with West Ham United, Joveljić has a good chance to gain experience.

Frankfurt came in from an extremely positive midweek fixture in which they defeated FC Vaduz 5-0 away from home in the Europa League qualifiers, meaning that the second leg on Thursday carries to no worry.

Early worries for Frankfurt

Eintracht quickly found themselves on the back foot, 23-year-old Kosovo international Valmir Sulejmani slotted the ball past keeper Kevin Trapp less than three minutes into the game.

Just as they thought it couldn't get any worse. Sulejmani doubled his tally only seven minutes later, putting Frankfurt 2-0 down in the first round of a cup competition where only two years ago they had won the final against Bayern Munich.

Eintracht draw level

Quick to try and squander Mannheim’s chances of securing a cup upset, Daichi Kamada earned Eintracht a lifeline on the 21st minute. The ball fell to him in the box, and he coolly slotted the ball home into the net of Markus Scholz.

After a close effort from Daniel Joveljic, fellow countryman Filip Kostic drew the scores level just before the stroke of half time. His low driven shot in stoppage time took the eagles into half time with a chance to turn the scoresheet back into their favour.

Mannheim scare eagles

After 25 minutes of the play in the second half in which not much happened for either of the two sides, Mannheim were able to find one last glimmer of hope against last season’s Europa League semi-finalists.

In the 71st minute, Jan-Hendrik Marx’s right-footed shot sailed into the top-left corner of Trapp’s goal.

Rebic the saviour

Despite being linked with transfers to both Inter and AC Milan in the past few weeks, Croatian forward Ante Rebic displayed his commitment for Hutter’s side in the second half.

Just four minutes after Marx brought Mannheim in front, Rebic pulled the scores back when his left-footed shot from inside of the six-yard box rolled into the bottom left corner of the net. In brilliant form, the Croatian followed up on the 80th-minute mark, his goal after Filip Kostic's ball ending many of the travelling Frankfurt fans' worries.

With the clock ticking down, Ante Rebic managed to earn himself a hat-trick, notching another in from close range to make it five for the day for Eintracht, the same goal tally that they managed in their midweek game against Vaduz

Takeaways from the match

Frankfurt will be extremely happy with their progression into the next round. Following their win by a large margin in Switzerland last week, Adi Hutter will not even have to worry too much about the side that he fields for the second leg, allowing him to rest players for the first Bundesliga match against Hoffenheim on Sunday.

Despite the loss, Mannheim will be happy with their show of class in the tie and are unbeaten so far in the 3. Liga. Mannheim have won one of their first four matches in the league, losing the previous three before their fourth game against 1860 Munich.

Losing two of their important front three from last season already, it could prove to be a massive blow for Eintracht if Ante Rebic left to join one of the two Milanese teams who are looking at him. Kamada and Kostic proved that they could score today, but Hutter's men will need more to step up when the League starts