Allianz Arena, Munich - Striker Djorde Rakic took just 12.4 seconds to open the scoring for TSV 1860 Munich against previous undefeated Eintracht Frankfurt with his second goal in as many games to spark the Lions to a 2-1 victory over the second Bundesliga leaders.
Stefan Aigner pounced on the loose ball wide on the right, drove to the goal line and cut the ball back for Rakic to poke home.
The Lions extended their lead in the second half when Kevin Volland fired home after a long clearance from Lions goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly in the 67th minute. Despite looking the stronger side for most of the match, Frankfurt were extremely wasteful in front of goal. They did manage to halve the deficit in the very last minute of the game when Theofanis Gekas drilled home from 16 yards unchallenged.
1860 captain Benny Lauth was forced to sit this game out with a neck injury meaning Sandro Kaiser slotted into the left midfield role and Rakic partnered Volland up front. Dominik Stahl was chosen in preference to Collin Benjamin to play in midfield with stand-in captain Kai Bülow.
The game exploded into life just a few seconds after Frankfurt kicked it off. Stefan Aigner beat Georgios Tzavellas to the ball and set up Rakic inside the 6 yard box. The Serbian forward made easy work of the finish to get the home fans onto their feet.
There was precious little else to excite the fans of either side for the remaining 44 minutes. Frankfurt wasted plenty of opportunities with some very poor finishing and 1860 appeared to put everyone behind the ball and ride their luck at defending their narrow lead, trying to catch their opponents on the counter.
The first substitution came in only the 29th minute when Arne Feick was replaced by Stefan Buck at left back. 11 minutes later Eintracht were forced into a goalkeeper substitution when an injury to Oka Nikolov allowed on loan shot-stopper Thomas Kessler a chance to impress between the sticks.
The second half offered more in the way of excitement especially for the travelling fans. It was largely one-way traffic with "the Eagles" creating the better chances but unable to apply the finishing touches. Kiraly came to the rescue on a number of occasions to keep the home side in the game.
Against the run of play midway into the second half a long clearance from Kiraly found a grateful recipient in Volland who was able to carry the ball well into the penalty area and unleashed a goal bound shot which found its way past Kessler to give the Lions a comfortable 2 goal cushion.
Normal operations resumed after that and Frankfurt continued to press high in the 1860 half, testing Kiraly with crosses, shots and fumbled efforts which were persistently hacked away by a clumsy looking but determined defense.
Becoming the first team to beat Frankfurt this season one might have expected more jubilation from the Lions players after the whistle but Kiraly didn't want to get carried away by one good result. "Frankfurt did well but our defense was compact, strong and always alert," said Kiraly. "I think we must keep our feet on the ground. We have to continue to work and mustn't be overly satisfied with this result."
Rakic was also complimentary to Frankfurt. "Frankfurt are a very strong team but we ran a lot and fought really well. It was an important win and we want to stay in the top half of the table."
Maximum points from their last 2 games have given Sechzig fans something to really cheer about but they're far from the finished article. There are just 3 more games to play before the winter break and all are winnable. If they can manage to take 9 points the Lions will surely be back in contention for a play-off place.