Serdar scores the winner as S04 beat FC Augsburg
The Royal Blues won 1-0 at home against FC Augsburg on Sunday (11/4). Suat Serdar's early strike put S04 ahead, before a solid defensive performance centred on goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann in the second half saw them come out on top.
Three changes to the starting XI
Head coach Dimitrios Grammozis made three changes to the line up following last weekend’s defeat in Leverkusen. Ralf Fährmann replaced Frederik Rönnow in goal, while Bastian Oczipka and Can Bozdogan started in place of Sead Kolasinac and Kerim Calhanoglu. Salif Sané also returned to the squad for the first time since matchday 13.
Serdar bags a birthday goal
The Royal Blues got off to a hot start, as Oczipka, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Bozdogan combined to bring the ball into the box. The latter’s shot bounced out of goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz’s hands and into Suat Serdar’s path. The birthday boy made no mistake, slotting home the rebound (4′). The hosts were the more dominant side in the opening stages of the game, and came close yet again in the eighth minute. Oczipka found Huntelaar in the box, but Robert Gumny was able to redirect the Dutchman’s shot just wide.
Fährmann denies Richter one-on-one
The visitors slowly found their way into the game, and recorded their first chance through Marco Richter (24′). Ruben Vargas capitalized off Malick Thiaw slipping to steal the ball and send Richter through one-on-one with Fährmann. The keeper was able to make the save with his left foot. Both teams looked to attack, as S04 were able to create several chances while keeping FCA at bay. Jeffery Gouweleeuw was able to clear Mehmet Can Aydin’s cross (27′), while Omar Mascarell’s shot from range sailed harmlessly over the bar (28′). Vargas then tested Fährmann with a shot from inside the box (31′). Amine Harit (34′) and Serdar (35′) both came close but had to watch their efforts go wide of goal. As the referee signaled half-time, the Royal Blues headed into the dressing room with their 1-0 lead intact.
No way through for Vargas against Fährmann
Augsburg looked the more lively side in the second half, but were faced with a compact Schalke team. Serdar’s attempt in the 54th minute was blocked by Felix Uduokhai. Fährmann then denied Vargas from close range yet again (55′). Seconds later, Raphael Framberger played through to Richter, who sent his shot over the bar from five yards out (56′).
Fährmann saves Richter's bicycle kick – Huntelaar nearly nets free kick
The Royal Blues defended their narrow lead with passion and commitment. As the game headed into the final 15 minutes, Fährmann had to stretch to make a save off a bicycle kick from Richter. Huntelaar came within inches of netting a free-kick, but Gikiewicz pulled off the save (81′). In the end, Schalke were rewarded for their efforts with three points at home.
SC Freiburg up next
Next Saturday, the Royal Blues will travel to face SC Freiburg (15:30 CEST) on matchday 29.