300 fans in the Parkstadion watch a goal fest against SC Verl

The first match in the ‘new’ Parkstadion saw nine goals scored, as FC Schalke 04 were beaten 5-4 by SC Verl in a 120-minute friendly. Steven Skrzybski (2), Mark Uth and Benito Raman got the goals for the Royal Blues.

After discussions with the local authorities, the Royal Blues were given the go-ahead to have fans at their friendlies at the Parkstadion. Up to 300 fans are allowed to attend the games, with social distancing rules in place in the stands and at the entrances to the ground.

Both sides agreed to play four 30-minute sessions so that both coaches could give all their players some game time. 23 players featured for Schalke in total, including Guido Burgstaller who was making his comeback from a knee injury.

Steven Skrzybski

Skrzybski scores the first goal in the new home shirt

Schalke were on top in the opening exchanges, despite not creating any real clear-cut opportunities. The third-tier side did, however. Zlatko Janjic hit the post with their first chance, before the striker went one better a minute later to put Verl 1-0 ahead. The Bosnian was in the right place to head home a cross. The away team quickly found a second goal too. Patrick Schikowski was clean through against Ralf Fährmann and doubled his side’s lead (18’).

Steven Skrzybski got S04 back into the game six minutes after Verl’s second goal. The Berlin-born attacker drove the ball home from the edge of the box – the first goal in Schalke’s new home shirt. Mark Uth was in the goals too shortly afterwards. The striker got in behind and calmly slotted it past SCV goalkeeper Till Brinkman to make it 2-2 (28’).

After the sides went off for a short drinks break after half an hour, S04 were quick out of the blocks once the game restarted. Steven Skrzybski volleyed an Oczipka cross into the back of the net to give the Royal Blues the lead for the first time on the night. Ralf Fährmann then made a smart save against Janjic in the 43rd minute.

‘Ralle’ was beaten three minutes after that save from Janjic though. Patrick Schikowski had an open goal after a pass by Lang and he scored to make it 3-3. Benito Raman then had an equally simple finish to give S04 a 4-3 lead, however Verl responded, and how. Sascha Korb equalised from a square ball (57’), before Schikowski grabbed his third of the game in the 58th minute to give the third-tier side a 5-4 lead at the 60-minute mark, when the two sides went off for half time.

No goals after the break

David Wagner made 11 changes for the second 60 minutes. One of those players was Hamza Mendyl, who returned after a year away on loan at Dijon. Schalke looked to draw level once again, but this proved difficult, despite having most of the ball. Verl were tighter at the back and there was less action in the final third compared to the first “half”.

Amine Harit had the best opportunity to equalise. The Moroccan hit the bar from a penalty after Rabbi Matondo had been fouled (87’). Malick Thiaw then headed a corner on target – the away keeper held on though (90’).

The final 30 minutes rarely saw any moments of note, meaning the third-tier side held on to a 5-4 win after the hectic first 60 minutes.

Another third-division side up next

The Royal Blues’ next friendly is on Tuesday (18/8) against KFC Uerdingen, another 3. Liga side. The game will kick off at 18:00 CEST in the Parkstadion, with 300 fans once again allowed to attend.

Statistics

Schalke: Fährmann (61’ Langer) – Frölich (61’ McKennie/106’ Hanraths), Kabak (61’ Thiaw), Stambouli (61’ Nastasic), Oczipka (61’ Mendyl) – Taitague (31’ Burgstaller/61’ Boujellab), Schöpf (61’ Mercan), Skrzybski (61’ Harit), Bozdogan (61’ Serdar) – Raman (61’ Matondo), Uth (61’ Kutucu)
Verl: Brinkmann – Ritzka, Jürgensen, Stöckner, Lang – Kurt, Korb – Schwermann, Janjic, Schikowski – Hecker
Goals: 0-1 Janjic (17’), 0-2 Schikowski (18’), 1-2 Skrzybski (24’), 2-2 Uth (29’), 3-2 Skrzybski (32’), 3-3 Schikowski (46’), 4-3 Raman (55’), 4-4 Korb (57’), 4-5 Schikowski (58’)
Referee: Goldmann (Warendorf)
Attendance: 300
Other moments of note: Harit misses a penalty (87’)

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