3-3 against Düsseldorf - Rouwen Hennings scores all three for Fortuna

A crazy afternoon in Gelsenkirchen! Despite leading on three separate occasions through Daniel Caligiuri, Ozan Kabak and Suat Serdar, a Rowen Hennings hattrick earns a point for the visitors (3-3).

Two changes to the starting XI

The Royal Blues have to deal with the loss of Salif Sané, who will be out of action for the coming months due to a knee injury. Weston McKennie fills in for the Senegal international at centre back, after being pushed back from his usual number six position. The boss makes two changes in personnel, with Daniel Caligiuri and Alessandro Schöpf coming into the starting XI.

Raman provides, Caligiuri finishes

It proved to be a tough start to the game for Schalke, as Düsseldorf sat deep into their own half, refusing to allow the hosts any sort of space. Despite having lots of the ball, The Royal Bues failed to get into any dangerous areas up until the 25th minute. Benito Raman picked up the ball in the opposition penalty area after a cross from the right-hand side, but the ex-Düsseldorf man’s eventual attempt on goal was cleared off the line by Jean Zimmer.

However, ten minutes later, the breakthrough was made. The Royal Blues turned defence into attack at lightning speed as Alexander Nübel picked out Benito Raman with a long ball. Schalke’s number nine then played it through to Caligiuri whose skillful volley managed to find the bottom corner (33’). Raman almost doubled the hosts’ lead shortly before the break. The ball fell kindly to the Belgian attacker in the six-yard box however he couldn’t quite hit the target.

VAR awards a penalty

Raman gehörte auch die erste Aktion im zweiten Durchgang. Nach einem Fehler im Düsseldorfer Aufbauspiel kam der

The first chance of the second half fell to Raman once again. The forward won the ball back after a missed placed pass from the opposition and drove towards the left-hand side of the pitch, but his attempt narrowly missed the near-corner of the goal (47’). The hosts got even closer just five minutes later. Raman’s well-hit cross from the left found Amine Harit just outside the six-yard box, but the Moroccan’s finish smacked against the crossbar.

The visitors then grabbed the equaliser on the hour mark. Kasim Adam’s header from a Düsseldorf corner hit the hand of Weston McKennie and referee Robert Hartmann awarded a penalty after re-watching the incident on the VAR monitor. Rouwen Hennings made no mistake from the spot and leveled the score at 1-1 (62’).

Hennings shocks Schalke

Despite the set-back, Schalke refused to let their heads drop and made the perfect reply through Kabak in the 67th minute. The Turkish national team player rose the highest after a Oczipka corner and his bullet header found the back of the net to restore Schalke’s lead. However, their lead didn’t last for long, as Hennings grabbed his second of the game after an effective Düsseldorf counter-attack. Fortuna’s top scorer found the back of the net from eight yards after Erik Thommy’s assist. However, the goals didn’t stop there. Adams’ weak clearance found its way to Suat Serdar at the edge of the box whose first time strike left Steffen with no chance.

However, once again, Hennings managed to grab an equaliser for his side. The striker completed his hattrick in the 85th minute, lobbing Alexander Nübel after a clever one-two with Ayhan to make it 3-3. The hosts almost scored a winner in the final minute of the game, but no one managed to get anything onto the ball after Mark Uth’s header across the face of goal.

Last international break of the year

Before we enter the final third of the Hinrunde, there will first be a two-week break from club football  as more than half-a-dozen Schalke players will jet off to meet up with their international teammates for the final international break of the calendar year. Next up for the Royal Blues is a game against Werder Bremen on Saturday 23rd November.

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