Josh Sargent helped Werder Bremen end Eintracht Frankfurt’s unbeaten start to the year with the winning goal in a 2-1 defeat for the Bundesliga’s in-form team on Friday.
The United States forward scored one goal, had another ruled out, and saw another goal he set up ruled out on a busy night for the video referee.
Sargents winner in the 62nd minute was given by VAR despite looking offside in TV replays. Sargent didn’t celebrate after scoring as he seemed to believe he was just offside for Maximilian Eggesteins pass.
But the goal was awarded, giving Sargent his third score in the Bundesliga and fifth overall this season. He previously scored at Frankfurt on Oct. 31 and at Hertha Berlin on Jan. 23 but had not at home in any competition since last seasons Bundesliga finale against Cologne in June.
Sargents goal meant the end of Frankfurts 11-game unbeaten run in the league since Dec. 11 and a 2-1 loss at Wolfsburg. Frankfurt previously won eight from its nine Bundesliga games in 2021 with the only blip a draw at Freiburg.
Top scorer Andr Silva missed last weekends win over Bayern Munich with an injury picked up in training, but it didn’t take long for the Portuguese striker to pick up from where he left off in Bremen with the visitors opening goal in the ninth minute.
Filip Kostic, who is so important to Frankfurts attacking threat, crossed after a corner for Silva to head in his 19th goal of the season off the far post.
There were complaints from Bremen that the corner should have been given as Frankfurt midfielder Djibril Sow was last to touch the ball before it went out.
Bremen fought back. Sargent had a goal ruled out for offside in the buildup and it served as encouragement for the confidence-hit home team. Bremen hadn’t scored in two games.
Milot Rashica grazed the top of the crossbar shortly afterwards.
Theodor Gebre Selassie equalized just after the break, but the increasingly agitated Bremen coaches patience was tested again with another offside call. Florian Kohfeldt was relieved when a VAR check confirmed the Bremen captain was on for Rashicas defense-splitting pass.
VAR again favoured Bremen for Sargent’s goal.
The American forward set up Romano Schmid to make it 3-1 but again the offside flag was raised. This time VAR ruled in Frankfurts favour, though it was another close call.