Kutucu, Uth and a Sané brace – S04 move into the quarter-finals
FC Schalke 04 defeated Düsseldorf 4-1 on Wednesday (6/2) in the last 16 of the DFB-Pokal. Salif Sané scored twice for Schalke.
Moving speech from Clemens Tönnies on Rudi Assauer
Both teams wore black armbands to pay their respects to Rudi Assauer, who died hours before the game. The former Schalke manager passed away after a long illness on Wednesday, aged 74. Schalke’s chairman Clemens Tönnies said goodbye to Assauer with an emotional speech before the game. “He was the face of our team and left a mark on the club which we are still proud of today,” said Tönnies.
Fährmann in goal, Matondo makes his debut
It was hard to concentrate on football, but the game still went ahead in the VELTINS-Arena. Domenico Tedesco made four changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday (2/2). Captain Ralf Fährmann replaced Alexander Nübel in goal, while Jeffrey Bruma, Rabbi Matondo and Ahmed Kutucu came into the team for Matija Nastasic, Sebastian Rudy and Yehven Konoplyanka.
S04 can’t beat Drobny early on
The game began at a high intensity; exactly as a knockout cup game should do. S04 had their first opportunity in the 13th minute: Rabbi Matondo cut inside from the left, but his shot wasn’t powerful enough to defeat Jaroslav Drobny.
The Royal Blues pressed forwards and Ahmed Kutucu almost gave them the lead after 18 minutes. His shot was again comfortably saved by Drobny though.
Kutucu wondergoal gives Schalke the lead
Twelve minutes later, the Czech keeper was left with no chance. Daniel Caligiuri’s throw in was flicked on by Weston McKennie to Mark Uth who fed Ahmed Kutucu. The 18-year-old let a curling drive fly into the top corner and gave Schalke a deserved 1-0 lead.
The guests, who tried to get forwards on plenty of occasions in the first half, couldn’t find a final pass. Alfredo Morales cleared Ralf Fährmann’s crossbar from 25 yards and Marvin Ducksch also missed a chance from inside the box, meaning it was 1-0 at the break to Schalke.
Double strike after the break
The second half began just as Schalke would have liked it to. In the 48th minute, Bastian Oczipka put in a corner, which Weston McKennie headed towards goal. Drobny parried it well, but only to Salif Sané who stabbed home the second goal.
The action continued to come at a rapid pace: A Daniel Caligiuri free-kick was bundled onto the post by Salif Sané and then Ahmed Kutucu hit the other post with the rebound. Schalke fans didn’t have to wait long for that next goal though. Two minutes later, Sebastian Rudy played in Ahmed Kutucu, whose shot was again spilt by Drobny. Mark Uth was subsequently on hand to make it 3-0.
Hennings' goal sets up a tense ending, but Sané's second puts the game to bed
Schalke gave the visitors too much space to roam as the second half wore on, which allowed Düsseldorf back into the game with 20 minutes to go. David Kownacki played a delightful ball into the path of Rouwen Hennings, who chipped Ralf Fährmann from eight metres out to potentially spark some late drama. The visitors could have got their second just five minutes later, were it not for a great reaction save from Fährmann to deny Kevin Stöger from close-range.
Düsseldorf continued to press, but ultimately Hennings’ goal proved to be a consolation, as the Royal Blues put the game to bed in the 87th minute. Bastian Oczipka’s freekick from the left flank was headed in by Salif Sané, who claimed his second goal of the evening.
Bayern on Saturday, draw on Sunday
The quarter final matches for the DFB-Pokal will take place on the 2nd and 3rd of April. The draw will be made on Sunday at 18:00 CET. Schalke could be drawn against Hamburger SV, 1. FC Heidenheim, SC Paderborn, Werder Bremen, FC Augsburg, RB Leipzig or Bayern München. Before they find out their opponents, the Royal Blues must first return to Bundesliga action the day before, as they travel to Munich to face the defending champions. Kickoff is at 18:30 CET.