S04 draw 1-1 with Hoffenheim
Weston McKennie’s goal wasn’t enough for all three points on Saturday (7/3) against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. The Royal Blues were the better side for much of the game, but Christoph Baumgartner’s second-half goal meant that the two sides had to share the points in the VELTINS-Arena.
One change to the team
Benito Raman, who was on the bench against Bayern last time out in the DFB-Pokal came into the team for Nassim Boujellab. Apart from that, David Wagner went with the same side and formation that narrowly lost 1-0 on Tuesday night.
McKennie the man of the first half
Schalke not only looked to stay compact at the back, but also attacked Hoffenheim early on. Weston McKennie had the first chance of the game, however his shot was blocked by Sebastian Rudy, currently on loan at Hoffenheim for the Royal Blues.
McKennie was heavily involved in the next two notable moments for the hosts. The American played a fantastic diagonal ball through to right back Jonjoe Kenny. The Everton loanee couldn’t beat Hoffenheim keeper Oliver Baumann from a narrow angle though (14’). Six minutes later, however, the ball was in the back of TSG’s net. Kenny played it to McKennie, who cut inside brilliantly before firing a powerful low shot with his left foot past Baumann to give Schalke a deserved lead.
Schalke continued to control the game, although the closest either side came to scoring in the remainder of the first period was when Ihlas Bebou headed into the side-netting in the 40th minute, although S04 shotstopper Schubert had it covered.
TSG sub Baumgartner equalises
Hoffenheim came out of the blocks quickly after the break, although they still struggled to test Markus Schubert in the Schalke net. Schalke still had their bright moments, with Kenny’s shot being spilt by Baumann – Burgstaller was in an offside position as he looked to convert the rebound (56’). Rabbi Matondo used his pace to cut inside from the right-hand side, but the Wales international couldn’t keep his shot on target (61’).
After 66 minutes though it was Hoffenheim’s turn to celebrate. Benjamin Hübner had headed the ball into the Schalke net, but before the players could celebrate too much, referee Sven Jablonski consulted with VAR and disallowed the goal for offside. Barely three minutes later however, Hoffenheim had their equaliser as Hübner knocked down a corner to Baumgartner, who smashed the ball past the motionless Schubert to make the score 1-1. Despite conceding, Schalke didn’t need too long to adapt, and quickly went about trying to find a second goal. In the closing stages, Schalke were on top, but couldn’t find a winner before full time.
Revierderby up next
S04’s next competitive game is a big one. The Royal Blues will make the short trip to Dortmund next Saturday (14/3, 15:30 CET). The next home game is against FC Augsburg in two weeks time.