Schalke win on penalties in Köln to reach DFB Pokal last 16

FC Schalke 04 advanced to the DFB Pokal round of 16 after winning 6-5 on penalties against 1. FC Köln. Jhon Cordoba put the home side ahead before Nabil Bentaleb equalised from the spot with only two minutes of normal time left to play. The Royal Blues had the upper hand throughout the penalty shoot-out as Köln missed their first spot kick.

First time without Caligiuri in the starting XI

Head coach Domenico Tedesco made six changes from the last starting lineup against RB Leipzig. Naldo, Alessandro Schöpf, Sebastian Rudy, Amine Harit, Yevhen Konoplyanka and Guido Burgstaller came in for Stambouli, Caligiuri, Bentaleb, McKennie, Serdar and Embolo. It  was the first time this season that Caligiuri was not named in the starting XI.

Both teams started the game with good intensity but neither side created many real opportunities in the opening stages. The first chance fell to the home side as Dominick Drexler fired in a powerful strike but it was well saved by Alexander Nübel. As the half wore on, the Royal Blues started to gain more ground in the opposition half, however Timo Horn did not have any real saves to make. A deflected shot from Sebastian Rudy was one of the highlights for the visitors in the first half, while Guido Burgstaller also had a good opportunity, but he was caught in an offside position.

No penalty for Konoplyanka as Cordoba scores just before the break

Alexander Nübel was called into action to save Marcel Risse’s free kick in the 31st minute. The away side thought they should have had a penalty soon after as Yevhen Konoplyanka went down in the box after contact from Louis Schaub, but the referee did not point to the spot. It appeared as though it would be goalless at the break, before Salif Sané deflected a Cordoba shot past the helpless Nübel.

Naldo misses good chances to equalise

The second half carried on in the same vain as the first with both sides showing attacking intent. Naldo could have leveled things up in the 58th minute but he could not steer his header past Timo Horn. Naldo had another great chance to score a few minutes later but his free kick was well saved by Horn.

Bentaleb converts penalty

Schalke continued to look dangerous from set pieces as Bentaleb fired a wicked free kick just wide of the goal. The away side did not give up and Bentaleb went close once again from distance before Mark Uth and Amine Harit also had good chances to score. In the 87th minute, the referee pointed to the spot after he spotted a handball in the Köln area. Nabil Bentaleb stepped up and converted coolly.

No goals in extra time with Uth scoring winner in shoot-out

Both teams appeared to go for the kill at the beginning of extra time. S04 controlled possession but just could not find the final killer ball. Substitute McKennie saw a good effort blocked in the 108th minute before Köln started to grow into the game with Guirassy and Özcan having good chances for the home side.

Schalke had the better nerves in the penalty shoot-out. Nübel saved the first penalty from Höger however Bentaleb missed his spot kick which would have won Schalke the game. Drexler then missed for the hosts to give the Royal Blues the chance to win it and Mark Uth duly obliged to make the full-time score 5-6 on penalties.

Next up Hannover on Saturday

The draw for the next round of the DFB Pokal will take place on Sunday at 18:00 CEST. The games will take place on the 5th and 6th of February 2019. The next game for the Royal Blues is in three days time as Hannover visit the VELTINS-Arena on Saturday for a 15:30 kick off.

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