Weston McKennie heads Schalke to victory in Moscow
Late celebrations in Moscow! FC Schalke 04 managed to defeat Lokomotiv Moscow 1-0 on Wednesday (3/10), with the winning goal coming in the 88th minute. Weston McKennie headed in a Yehven Konoplyanka corner to secure the win.
Mascarell makes his first start
Domenico Tedesco had to do without Amine Harit (thigh injury) and Alessandro Schöpf (infection) for the game in the RZD Arena. Mark Uth and Breel Embolo came into the side for the two missing players. The Royal Blues made a further four changes, with Naldo, Sebastian Rudy, Weston McKennie and Omar Mascarell coming into the team, Mascarell making his first start for the club. Matija Nastasic, Suat Serdar, Nabil Bentaleb and Guido Burgstaller were the other players who missed out on the starting XI.
The hosts had former Schalke captain Benedikt Höwedes in their line-up, with Jefferson Farfan missing out due to a knee injury.
A first half without many chances
It was an even first half in which neither team could get a grip on the game being played in heavy rain. Schalke were solid defensively and made it tight for Lokomotiv. The Russian champions therefore couldn’t make many chances, but the same could be said for Schalke.
The hosts came into the game more after 27 minutes, with Ralf Fährmann being called into action for the first time, tipping a strong shot by Dmitri Barinov round the post. Bryan Idowu’s shot a minute later then sailed just over the crossbar. After the two chances for the opponents, the game quietened down again and the first half ended goalless.
S04 were the better team
The second half started in unusual fashion as the match ball needed to be replaced as it went flat. Schalke struggled to create much going forward even with the new ball despite dominating possession. After an hour, the Royal Blues started to up the tempo and turned up the pressure on the opponents.
Domenico Tedesco’s team created a few attacking opportunities by winning the ball back in the Moscow half, however they struggled to carve out the chances inside the area. When Schalke had an attempt at goal, goalkeeper Guilherme was there to make the save.
The keeper was also there to keep out Uth in the 73rd minute with a good reaction save. Uth had another good chance five minutes from time, however his left-footed strike whistled just wide of the post. Weston McKennie had more luck in front of goal. The US international was in the right place to head home Konoplyanka’s corner two minutes from time. The youngster’s first goal was enough for the win in the RZD Arena.
Next up Düsseldorf, then no game
The Royal Blues will start preparing for Saturday’s game against Fortuna Düsseldorf (kick off 15:30 CEST) when they return back from Russia. After the clash with the newly-promoted side, there will be the second international break of the season where the players will once again meet up with their international sides.