S04 knocked out of the DFB-Pokal in Wolfsburg
FC Schalke 04 were beaten 1-0 at VfL Wolfsburg in the round of 16 on Wednesday night (3/2). Wout Weghorst scored a rebound after Ralf Fährmann had saved his penalty. The Royal Blues created a number of chances, but Koen Casteels made numerous saves to frustrate S04.
First start for William
Christian Gross made two changes to the team that drew 1-1 at Werder Bremen on Saturday. Malick Thiaw and William replaced Ozan Kabak (who has joined Liverpool on loan) and Alessandro Schöpf, with William making his first start for the club. Frederik Rönnow (groin), Suat Serdar, Benito Raman (colds) and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (calf) were all unavailable for the Royal Blues.
Harit with the best early chance
Schalke’s main aim early on was to keep things tight at the back, while Wolfsburg looked to knock the ball about. The hosts had three shots in the first 12 minutes: Maximillian Arnold (8’) and Otavio (10’) both cleared the bar and Renato Steffen saw his shot fly wide (12’).
The Knappen grew into the game more and then had their best chance of the opening stages. Sead Kolasinac burst down the left and fed Amine Harit, who took it past Kevin Mbabu. His shot from a narrow angle was well saved by Koen Casteels and William couldn’t quite get on the end of the rebound (14’). From the following corner, William hit a long-range volley directly from a clearance, but Casteels had it under control (15’).
Weghorst scores the rebound – Casteels denies Hoppe
The Wolves were awarded a penalty in the 39th minute after VAR advised referee Felix Zwayer that William had fouled Xaver Schlager in the box. Wout Weghorst, however, saw his spot-kick saved by Ralf Fährmann. Nonetheless, the Dutch striker was quickest to the rebound and still found the back of the next (40’).
Just on the stroke of half time, Schalke had a great chance to level the scoreline. Kolasinac’s low cross was unintentionally deflected into Matthew Hoppe’s path by Otavio. The American’s shot from a few yards out was then sensationally stopped by Casteels with his feet to preserve the hosts’ lead (45’).
S04 keep it tight
The run of play continued in a similar pattern at the start of the second half – Wolfsburg had more of the ball, while Schalke were solid at the back and didn’t allow the home sides many chances. Josip Brekalo headed over in the 47th minute after a cross from Otavio. At the other end, Mark Uth was brought down in the area by Maxence Lacroix, albeit it wasn’t a penalty according to referee Zwayer (49’). Five minutes later, Uth played the ball through to Kolasinac. He gave it to Hoppe, who was then pushed over by Arnold in the box (54’). Again though, there was no spot-kick for Schalke.
Uth and Hoppe miss chances to equalise
Ralf Fährmann made an important stop from a Joao Victor shot after 69 minutes, however after then it was Schalke who looked more like scoring. The best chance fell to Mark Uth with 15 minutes to play. He was played through by a perfect ball by William and got a low shot away from close range. Frustratingly for Schalke, though, Casteels wouldn’t be beaten again. There was still time for another good opportunity for the Royal Blues. Timo Becker – as he often did on the night – burst down the right and crossed it for Hoppe, whose shot cleared the bar from around 12 yards out.
With time ticking away, Schalke threw everything they had at Wolfsburg. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for an equaliser, with the final notable moment coming when Malick Thiaw headed over the bar in the fourth minute of injury time.
Leipzig at home
S04’s next game is at home to RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga (6/2, 15:30 CET).