Unbeaten run continues with a 1-1 draw in Augsburg

FC Schalke 04 are still undefeated in the second half of the season. The Royal Blues drew 1-1 away to FC Augsburg on Saturday afternoon (18/3) thanks to Marius Bülter’s penalty in injury time. Arne Maier gave the home team the lead early in the second half, but they soon lost Ermedin Demirovic after he was sent off.

Balanta and Karaman named in the starting XI

Head coach Thomas Reis made two changes to the team that drew 2-2 against Dortmund last week at home. Éder Balanta and Kenan Karaman replaced Mehmet Can Aydin and Rodrigo Zalazar (both dropped to the bench) in the starting XI.

FCA enjoy the better start

Augsburg started strongly and had the first two chances of the game. Mergim Berisha’s header in the second minute looped over the bar and Iago’s effort from way out flew over the bar (4’).

Schalke improved after the first few minutes and started to put together some decent attacks. Marius Bülter played a ball in behind the FCA defence for Henning Matriciani, who saw his decent cross cleared for a corner. That was taken by Éder Balanta and subsequently headed over by Tom Krauß. 04 minutes later, Marius Bülter’s low drive was well saved by Rafal Gikiewicz.

Good save from Fährmann

It was an intense first half with few chances at either end. Ralf Fährmann remained on his toes to make a smart save from Elvis Rexhbecaj’s shot from outside the box, tipping it wide with a strong hand (20’). Rodrigo Zalazar replaced Éder Balanta in the 32nd minute after the midfielder had picked up an early yellow card.

The final notable piece of action in the first period came in injury time. Alex Král did well to win back possession on the edge of the box and then the ball came to Michael Frey. His strike from a narrow angle was easily saved by Gikiewicz (45’).

Maier opens the scoring, Demirovic sent off

The hosts took the lead five minutes into the second half. Ralf Fährmann’s pass was intercepted by Augsburg just outside the area and Ermedin Demirovic played it to Arne Maier in the box. His shot found its way through Fährmann at the near post for the opening goal (51’).

FCA had Demirovic sent off less than two minutes after taking the lead. The striker caught Tom Krauß with his studs and was shown a red card. Schalke’s number 6 was able to play on after some treatment.

Bülter from the spot

Now with a man advantage, Schalke were on top as they searched for an equaliser, though they found it hard to break down the home defence. Thomas Reis reacted by making attacking substitutions, introducing Tobias Mohr, Simon Terodde and Mehmet Can Aydin for Henning Matriciani, Kenan Karaman and Cedric Brunner.

Simon Terodde had a decent chance to level the game in the 71st minute. Rodrigo Zalazar fizzed a cross in from the right, but Terodde couldn’t direct it on target. Ten minutes later, Michael Frey headed at the FCA goalkeeper from a Tobias Mohr delivery. Moritz Jenz’s header went over from a Zalazar corner late on.

There was still time for the dogged Royal Blues to find an equaliser. Jeffrey Gouweleeuw caught Simon Terodde in the box and Marius Bülter stepped up to score the penalty (90+3’). The Knappen fought hard for a winner in the remaining seven minutes of added time, but referee Daniel Schlager eventually blew the final whistle with the scores level.

Friendly against Venlo, home game against Leverkusen

There will be no Bundesliga action next weekend due to the upcoming international break. Instead, S04 will host Dutch side VVV-Venlo in a friendly at 13:00 CET on Friday (24/3) at the Parkstadion.

The next Bundesliga game is at home to Bayer Leverkusen on 1st April (15:30 CET).

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