Three points in final home game of the season

FC Schalke 04 triumphed 2-1 over Hansa Rostock at a sold-out VELTINS-Arena on Saturday (11/5). Goals from Kenan Karaman (22’) and Paul Seguin (45+5’) got the Royal Blues over the line in their last home match of the season. The win sees Schalke climb to tenth place in the table, while FCH remain second-bottom.

Cissé, Ouédraogo start

There were two changes to the side that secured the club’s place in next year’s 2. Bundesliga with a 4-0 win over VfL Osnabrück on Tuesday. Tomas Kalas was unavailable for the match due to a knock and Ibrahima Cissé came into the team in his absence. It was Cissé’s first competitive start at the VELTINS-Arena. Assan Ouédraogo was also named in the starting XI two days after his 18th birthday, with Yusuf Kabadayi dropping to the bench.

Karaman bags 13th goal of the season

Both sides struggled to make their presence felt in an even opening salvo. The first real chance of the encounter fell to the visitors, with Kai Pröger latching onto Svante Ingelsson’s ball into the box and getting a shot off. Marius Müller kept the scores level with an impressive reflex save. Intervention from the Schalke keeper was not required seven minutes later, as Janik Bachmann mistimed his header and saw it balloon over the bar (14’).

Schalke needed a moment of magic to open the floodgates, which is exactly what Kenan Karaman provided in the 22nd minute of the game. Ouwejan’s corner found Schalke’s number 19 in the box, who powered a header past Markus Kolke to make it 1-0 to the Royal Blues and take his tally for the season to 13 goals.

Rostock responded through Sarpreet Singh. Kai Pröger played the New Zealand international through on goal with a well-timed pass. FCH’s number 28 got a shot off, which took a deflection off Ron Schallenberg and past Marius Müller into the back of the net. The fact that Pröger could have been booked for a second time after a challenge on Thomas Ouwejan added insult to injury.

It almost went from bad to worse for the hosts. After chaos in the Schalke box, Sebastian Vasiliadis hit the ball on the volley. His effort also took a deflection and went just wide of the post. As the first half drew to a close, the referee awarded S04 a free kick in a promising position after Assan Ouédraogo was brought down on the edge of the box. Paul Seguin hit the wall with his effort, but the midfielder had the ball at his feet once again after Hansa failed to clear the danger. Seguin’s venomous cross back into the box missed everyone and nestled in the far right corner to give the Knappen a 2-1 lead going into the break.

Latza replaces Terodde

The second half started in the same way as the first 45 ended. Both teams looked nervy, giving the ball away too often and struggling to create any notable chances in front of goal. Kenan Karaman had another goal in his sights ten minutes into the second period of play, but his shot from outside the box was straight at Kolke (55’). Sarpreet Singh had the chance to level things up for the second time with a volley, but he did not connect as well as he did in the first half and his effort sailed over the bar (60’).

In the 70th minute, Sarpreet Singh was booked for a mistimed tackle on Assan Ouédraogo. However, Singh was sent off after the referee consulted the pitchside monitor and decided that the challenge merited a red card. Paul Seguin stepped up to take the free-kick, and a dangerous flick-on from a Rostock defender meant that it was inches away from Schalke’s third of the afternoon.

The Royal Blues would have three more chances in quick succession to add to their advantage. Kenan Karaman laid the ball off to Assan Ouédraogo, who cut inside and tried to curl one into the bottom-right corner. Kiel keeper Kolke managed to get his fingertips to the 18-year-old’s effort and divert it away from goal. Rostock only cleared the resulting corner as far as Ron Schallenberg, whose shot from the edge of the area clattered off the bar. Simon Terodde was then unable to squeeze the ball past Kolke just one minute later.

Schalke’s number 9 was brought off to thunderous applause from the home crowd with two minutes of the game remaining. The standing ovation continued for Terodde’s replacement, Danny Latza, who was also making his last appearance at the VELTINS-Arena for the Royal Blues. Confirmation of Schalke’s victory came shortly afterwards, as the referee blew his whistle after six minutes of added time. The fans showed their appreciation for everything that Terodde and Latza, as well as Gerald Asamoah, had done during their time as Royal Blues. It’s moments like these that set Schalke apart from other clubs.

A trip to Fürth on final day of the season

FC Schalke 04’s season will come to a close when they travel to SpVgg Greuther Fürth on Sunday (19/5). The clash at the Sportpark Ronhof is due to kick off at 15:30 CEST. The reverse fixture ended in a 2-2 draw.

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