Schalke win first competitive game of 2018/19 - beat Schweinfurt 2-0
One match, one win. That’s the record for Schalke so far this season after a successful DFB-Pokal first round match away against FC Schweinfurt 05. Goals in either half – one from Nabil Bentaleb from the spot and an own goal from a Matija Nastasic header – were enough to see off the spirited Regionalliga side 2-0 in front of 15,000 on Friday night.
Two new signings in the starting XI
Both Salif Sané and Mark Uth made their debuts in Royal Blue, while fellow signings Omar Mascarell and Suat Serder remained at home, having not travelled to Schweinfurt because of injury.
Newest signing Hamza Mendyl was not eligible to take his place in the squad. The Moroccan international has flown back to France following his medical to sort out personal terms. The left back will join the rest of the Royal Blues in training in the coming days.
Bentaleb scores from the spot
The hosts, playing their seventh game of the season already – from which they had emerged unbeaten – did not shy away from the challenge of facing Bundesliga opposition, staying compact at the back and aiming tob e aggressive in the opening phases. It meant the Royal Blues needed longer than they might have expected to properly gain a foothold in the game.
Indeed it took fifteen minutes for Schalke to truly start dictating play, and they took the lead midway through the half when Amine Harit was fouled in the area, and Nabil Bentaleb stepped up to scored the first goal of 2081/19 for Domenico Tedesco’s side. From then on the visitors were the better side, though Guido Burgstaller and co. Rarely found themselves with a durect goalscoring opportunity before the referee blew for half time.
Jabiri deflects Nastasic header home
The start of the second half saw little noteworthy action, with the Royal Blues dictating the play without creating any notable chances. However the game caught life once again after 59 minutes. Schweinfurt keeper Alexander Eiban stopped Mark Uth’s effort, before Stefan Maderer just missed Ralf Fährmann’s post minutes later. Breel Embolo then had the next chance, trying an ambitious overhead-kick which hit the side-netting on 65 minutes.
After around 70 minutes the hosts then started to attack more. This however allowed Die Knappen to gain more space and chances. Matija Nastasic rose highest from a corner and his header was deflected into his own net by Adam Jabiri on 75 minutes, sealing the victory for S04, who can now celebrate a place in the second round of the DFB-Pokal.
Bundesliga start in Wolfsburg
Schalke will have to wait several weeks until their next DFB-Pokal fixture with the second round scheduled for the 30th and 31st October. However the Bundesliga is next up, with the season beginning on Saturday 25th August (15:30, CEST) away from home against VfL Wolfsburg.