Royal Blues lose 4-2 in Hoffenheim
FC Schalke 04 were beaten 4-2 away at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday afternoon. Mark Uth and Shkodran Mustafi put S04 ahead with two first-half goals, before the hosts turned the game around with goals from Andrej Kramaric, Kevin Akpoguma, Christoph Baumgartner and Ihlas Bebou after the break.
Bundesliga debut for Flick and Kaparos
Head coach Dimitrios Grammozis handed a debut to another Knappenschmiede talent. Florian Flick, who has played 33 games for the U23s in the Regionalliga this season, was given a start in Sinsheim. 19-year-olds Brooklyn Ezeh and Jimmy Kaparos, also from the U23s, were named on the bench.
Mark Uth, Bastian Ocipkza, Alessandro Schöpf and Timo Becker also came into the side for Omar Mascarell (muscle strain), Benjamin Stambouli (ban and recovering from a jaw operation), Goncalo Paciencia (bench), Malick Thiaw (banned) and Mehmet Can Aydin (syndesmosis injury). Steven Skrzybski and Levent Mercan made the squad after recovering from their respective knee injuries. The former came on for the last 20 minutes, while Kaparos also made his Bundesliga debut as a substitute.
Uth puts Schalke ahead
Hoffenheim played it about nicely early on and had the ball in Schalke’s net after just five minutes. Christoph Baumgartner’s goal was correctly ruled out after Ihlas Bebou was offside in the build-up. The Austrian then tested out Ralf Fährmann from the edge of the box (8’).
Four minutes later, the visitors took the lead. Alessandro Schöpf played it wide to Suat Serdar and his low cross found Mark Uth. He then beat Oliver Baumann with a low shot from inside the box (12’).
Hoffenheim had more of the ball in the first period, although they rarely had good chances. Mustafi blocked Bebou’s effort well (17’) and Fährmann kept out a free-kick from Skov shortly afterwards (18’).
Mustafi heads home a second
Schalke continued to be compact in defence, but weren’t threatening at the other end either. Hoffenheim’s next opportunity saw Baumgartner’s shot fly over from a Kramaric cross (38’).
With time running out in the first half, Grammozis’ side doubled their lead. Amine Harit won a corner for the away side and Shkodran Mustafi headed home from Oczipka’s delivery (42’). Harit could have made it 3-0 before the break too. The Moroccan’s volley flew just past the far post (43’). Robert Skov had another dangerous free-kick in added time of the first half – this one narrowly missed the target (45’).
Hoffenheim come from behind
Schalke’s two-goal lead didn’t last very long at all in the second half, with Hoffenheim turning the game on its head within 15 minutes. Andrej Kramaric started the comeback, curling home a free-kick from 20 yards (47’). Fährmann preserved Schalke’s slender advantage soon after from Sargis Adamyan’s strike (49’), however the equaliser quickly came. Kramaric’s corner was met by Kevin Akpoguma and he headed it into the back of the net (52’).
Eight minutes after the leveller, TSG took the lead. Another Kramaric set piece was again the outlet for the home side. His free-kick was headed past Fährmann by Baumgartner for their third goal of the afternoon (60’). Sebastian Hoeness’ team were on a roll and they then added a fourth. Florian Grillitsch picked out Ihlas Bebou in the box and he slotted home (64’).
Hoffenheim dominated the remainder of the second half, whilst Schalke failed to create any notable chances to get them back in the game, meaning it finished 4-2.
Hertha on Wednesday
S04’s next game is on Wednesday (12/5) against Hertha BSC at the VELTINS-Arena. The rearranged fixture from matchday 31 will kick off at 18:00 CEST.