Courageous Schalke earn a point in Sinsheim
Schalke earned a valuable point on Saturday away at Hoffenheim. Andrej Kramaric put the hosts ahead with a penalty kick, before Nabil Bentaleb levelled the scores, also from the spot.
Wright makes Starting XI Debut
Coach Domenico Tedesco made seven changes from the team that played Porto in the Champions League in midweek, with Salif Sané, Bastian Oczipka, Alessandro Schöpf, Sebastian Rudy, Suat Serdar, Guido Burgstaller and Haji Wright all coming in. It was Wright’s second Bundesliga appearance for Die Knappen, and his starting XI debut.
Numerous chances for both sides
An exciting match quickly developed from the offset, with both sides having good chances to take the lead. Ralf Fährmann was called into action in just the second minute, punching Steven Zuber’s effort from 20 yards out of danger. Three minutes later, it was the crossbar that came to Schalke’s rescue, when Zuber again had a long-distance shot at goal.
Just six minutes later, it was Schalke’s turn to be denied, when Guido Burgstaller’s shot from six yards was parried by Oliver Baumann in the Hoffenheim net. The Schalke attacker had a few chances to score in the first half, but unfortunately couldn’t put the visitors ahead.
Referee Kampka decides against Schalke penalty after review
Hoffenheim continued to pose a threat, despite Schalke also having some good chances. Fährmann made a sensational double save to first deny Joelinton from close range, and then Kerem Demirbay on the rebound. Demirbay was again denied by the Schalke goalkeeper just 12 minutes later, when his shot from 20 yards out was blocked.
Shortly before halftime, referee Dr. Robert Kampka initially awarded Schalke a penalty, after Steven Zuber was judged to have blocked Daniel Caligiuri’s cross with his arm. However, upon review from the video assistant, the decision was overturned, meaning the game remained scoreless at the break.
Kramaric puts Hoffenheim ahead from the spot
Both sides remained unchanged after the break, keeping up the game’s high intensity. The first incident of the half happened after 57 minutes, when Ishak Belfodil’s shot was deemed to have been handballed by Bastian Oczipka inside the box. Andrej Kramaric slotted home the resulting penalty to give the home side the lead.
Despite going down, the neon green kitted visitors fought back, showing great spirit to put Hoffenheim under continued pressure. Suat Serdar had a brilliant opportunity to equalise, but his curling shot was well deflected by a sliding challenge from Kasim Adams.
Bentaleb converts penalty to earn Schalke a point
After 73 minutes, Schalke finally found their way onto the score sheet. Daniel Caligiuri was fouled by Ermin Bicakcic in the Hoffenheim penalty area, and the ever-reliable Nabil Bentaleb stepped up to convert from the spot. Just minutes later, the Algerian almost made it two, when his shot from distance was well blocked by Baumann.
Both sides finished the game strongly, with Fährmann forced to make a brave diving save in the 93rd minute to deny Hoffenheim right at the death. The game finished 1-1, a fair result for both teams.
Derby this Saturday
Schalke’s next game comes this Saturday in the Bundesliga, when Dortmund travel to Gelsenkirchen for the Revierderby, kicking off at 15:30 CET.