Schalke beat Braunschweig thanks to Karaman’s goal
FC Schalke 04 secured an important victory on Saturday (3/2) at home to Eintracht Braunschweig. Kenan Karaman scored the only goal of the game after an hour played.
Müller in goal, Soppy on the bench
Head coach Karel Geraerts made six changes to the side that lost in Kaiserslautern last time out. Marius Müller replaced Ralf Fährmann in goal, while Ron Schallenberg, Blendi Idrizi, Darko Churlinov, Marcin Kaminski and Henning Matricani all came in for Lino Tempelmann, Timo Baumgartl, Cedric Brunner (suspended), Tobias Mohr and Keke Topp. Brandon Soppy, who joined the club on Thursday (1/2), made the bench for the first time.
Vital clearance by Murkin
The visitors had the first chance of the game as a long ball from midfield got Fabio Kaufmann in behind. His ball across the six-yard box had too much on it for Johan Gomez to get on the end of (2’). Schalke slowly started to control the game, but Braunschweig had their moments at the other end too. S04’s first shot was from Darko Churlinov, taking aim from distance but causing Ron-Thorben Hoffmann no issues in the Eintracht goal (5’). Four minutes later, Simon Terodde volleyed Blendi Idrizi’s cross over the bar.
The away team’s best move of the first half came after a quarter of an hour. Rayan Philippe found space in the box from a long ball and crossed for Kaufmann at the far post. However, Derry John Murkin slid in to make a vital clearance, almost certainly denying Eintracht the lead.
Crossbar denies S04
Despite creating more chances in the first half, Schalke couldn’t find an opener before the break. Hoffmann pushed Marcin Kaminski’s header to safety (20’) and then Ermin Bicakcic got in the way of Kenan Karaman’s headed attempt (29’) – both crosses came from Paul Seguin.
The woodwork denied S04 a goal in the 34th minute: Henning Matriciani did well to win the ball back on the right-hand side, gave it to Darko Churlinov and he played it to Kenan Karaman. The striker initially tried to set up Simon Terodde, however the pass was blocked and it landed at the Turkish forward’s feet again. He shot on his left foot and the ball crashed off the bar and ultimately bounced to safety.
The final notable moment of the first half was almost a freak goal by Henning Matriciani. His left-footed cross from the edge of the box almost flew into the far corner, requiring Hoffmann to tip it wide for a corner.
Karaman gets the winner
Simon Terodde had the opportunity to give S04 the perfect start to the second half, but his shot following Karaman’s pass was blocked by Robert Ivanov’s head (46’). Meanwhile, Marius Müller got a vital touch on Ivanov’s cross towards Rayan Philippe (50’), preventing the striker from getting a chance.
The only goal of the game was scored with an hour played. Derry John Murkin played a nice ball forwards from the halfway line to Kenan Karaman, who dribbled past Ermin Bicakcic and then picked out the bottom corner. Goalkeeper Hoffmann did get a hand on it, but not enough to prevent Schalke’s opening goal.
S04 hold on
Although the remainder of the game saw Schalke having to mainly defend, the away side rarely threatened Marius Müller’s goal. The closest they came was when Rayan Philippe headed over the bar (87’). For the Knappen, Blendi Idrizi (82’) and Keke Topp (86’) missed chances from distance, while Karaman went close on his left foot (87’).
A committed defensive display saw S04 hold on for all three points – and they could even have made it 2-0 in the third minute of injury time. Bryan Lasme, fresh off the bench, sprinted forward with the ball on the break and tried to curl it into the far corner, missing by just a few inches. It didn’t matter though, as referee Sascha Stegemann blew up two minutes later.
Away in Kiel
FC Schalke 04’s next game is in eight days away at Holstein Kiel. The match will take place on a Sunday (11/2) at 13:30 CET.