Niko Kovac stunned his future employer by leading Eintracht Frankfurt to a 3-1 win over Bayern Munich in the DFB Pokal final on Saturday — the club’s first-such trophy since 1988.
Kovac delivered the cup, and with it a spot in the Europa League next season, in his final game in charge before replacing Jupp Heynckes as Bayern boss this summer.
Ante Rebic scored either side of Robert Lewandowski’s equaliser, with his second goal after 82 minutes surviving a VAR check by the referee after Bayern appealed for a handball in the build-up.
That was not the end of the replay drama, however, as Frankfurt survived another review in injury time when the referee decided that Kevin-Prince Boateng’s kick on Javi Martinez was not worthy of a penalty.
With Bayern still seething, Frankfurt immediately launched a counter-attack and substitute Mijat Gacinovic raced clear of two opponents to roll the ball into an empty net and spark wild celebrations with his teammates and supporters.
While it was the perfect send-off for Kovac, it denied Heynckes a Bundesliga and cup double on his farewell as Frankfurt claimed their first title for 30 years following defeat in the final 12 months ago.
Bayern will feel two huge decisions went against them and were left to rue chances from Lewandowski and Mats Hummels which struck the crossbar.