Goalless draw against Patro Eisden Maasmechelen
There were no goals scored in the friendly between FC Schalke 04 and Patro Eisden Maasmechelen on Thursday morning (16/11) in Gelsenkirchen.
Brunner back in action
Cedric Brunner made his comeback after missing the last six competitive games due to a groin injury. The 29-year-old began at right-back in a 3-5-2 formation. Vitalie Becker from the U19s started on the other flank. In Paul Pöpperl and Malik Talabidi (U23s), two more academy players were in the starting XI. Pöpperl was the only player to feature who appeared in the 2-0 win over PSV Eindhoven yesterday – he came off the bench in the clash with the Eredivisie leaders. Ngufor Anubodem, Verthomy Boboy, Jimmy Kaparos and Joey Müller (all U23s) all came on as substitutes after the break.
A first half without good chances
The friendly at the S04 training ground took a while to really get going. The majority of the action across first 20 minutes was played in the middle of the park, before the ball started to spend more time in the visitors’ half. Despite that, chances were few and far between, as both teams got stuck in throughout.
The first threatening attack for either side came after exactly half an hour played. Bryan Lasme received the ball from Sebastian Polter just inside the Patro Eisden Maasmechelen half and sprinted in behind, only to shoot over the bar once in the box. At the other end, the Belgian opposition had their first attempt. Theo Pierrot got a header on target at the back post from a corner, which was tipped over the bar by Michael Langer (33’).
The Patro Eisden Maasmechelen goalkeeper was required to make a save for the first time directly after Langer’s stop. Justin Verlinden was quick off his line to keep out Blendi Idrizi’s effort from close range and that was the last notable moment in a goalless first half.
No goals in the second half either
Schalke remained the brighter side after the break, but again had to wait a while for a chance. Blendi Idrizi could have made it 1-0 in the 60th minute following a pass from Polter, however Verlinden again got the better of him and the Kosovo international then missed the target with the follow-up.
Polter himself then had a decent opportunity with a header from an Idrizi corner, though it landed in the arms of the goalkeeper (64’). Patro Eisden Maasmechelen’s first shot after the break came in the 75th minute. Yassin Gueroui saw his effort from outside the area well saved by Michael Langer.
Schalke were still the better side late on, albeit without any way through the away defence and it therefore ended 0-0.
Night game in Düsseldorf
FC Schalke 04’s first league game after the international break is away to Fortuna Düsseldorf. S04 will make the short trip to the Merkur Spiel-Arena on Saturday (25/11, 20:30 CET).
Schalke: Langer – Matriciani, Kaminski, Talabidi (46′ Boboy) – Brunner (60′ Anubodem), Tauer, Becker (76′ Müller) – Pöpperl (46′ Kaparos), Idrizi – Polter, Lasme
Maasmechelen: Verlinden – Dijkhuizen, Bammens, Renson, Kis – Pierrot, Gueroui, Sigurdarson – Dansoko, Bounou, Moussa