Pieringer scores for Schalke in 1-1 friendly draw with Fortuna Sittard

The Royal Blues drew 1-1 against Fortuna Sittard on Saturday 8th January in a friendly match, presented by GAZPROM. Marvin Pieringer gave S04 a half-time lead before Arianit Ferati drew the guests level.

FC Schalke 04 - Fortuna Sittard

Sané in the starting XI

Head coach Dimitrios Grammozis set up his side in a 3-5-2 formation for their first match of the new year. Salif Sané played the entire first half at the heart of Schalke’s back three, and Marius Bülter and Marvin Pieringer started together up top.

FC Schalke 04 - Fortuna Sittard

Bülter misses from the spot

The first chance of the game fell to Schalke within the first two minutes, as Rodrigo Zalazar sent a corner in from the right-hand side and Salif Sané headed the cross just over the bar from around twelve yards out. In just the fourth minute, Blendi Idrizi profited from a Sittard error and snatched back possession before playing it to Rodrigo Zalazar, who then chipped it back to Idrizi over the top of the Sittard defence. The midfielder’s effort with the outside of his foot from a tight angle just missed the target.

S04 were on top of the game during the early stages. Rodrigo Zalazar put Marius Bülter in behind with a long ball in the eighth minute and the striker tried to slot it past the onrushing Sittard keeper Yanick von Osch, but he dragged his effort wide. Shortly after, Bülter had a great chance to make it 1-0 from the penalty spot. The Royal Blues were awarded a penalty after Sittard defender Martin Angha was deemed to have used his hand, and referee Nico Fuchs pointed to the spot. Bülter stepped up and went left, but van Osch guessed the right way and saved the effort.

At the other end of the pitch, the guests then had their first chance of the game. Tijjani Noslin got on the end of a cross from the right flank and didn’t make perfect contact with the ball, but his sliced effort was still threatening and even bounced off the crossbar (14’).

FC Schalke 04 - Fortuna Sittard

Idrizi gets a few good opportunities

Schalke then went back up the other end for a chance of their own. Blendi Idrizi drove forward and played it to Marius Bülter who got past his opposite man in the box with a nice backheel and passed it back to Idrizi in the middle whose effort from six yards was saved by van Osch (16’). One minute later, Malick Thiaw headed a Rodrigo Zalazar corner narrowly wide. Besides the shot which hit the bar, the guests didn’t create much until the 21st minute, when Mats Seuntjens dribbled down the right flank before Malick Thiaw partially cleared the ball. It fell to Ben Riestra and he had a shot on goal which only just went wide.

Just one minute later Blendi Idrizi had another good opportunity to break the deadlock. Rodrigo Zalazar worked it nicely to the Kosovan international who let fly, but his eventual effort went wide of the right post. Zalazar took a direct free kick from around 30 yards in the 24th minute and forced van Osch into a good save as he tipped it over the bar. Five minutes later, Zalazar was standing over another dead ball and crossed into the box where Marvin Pieringer was ready to head the ball towards Sittard’s goal from six yards out, but the header went high and over.

After that, Sittard began to grow into the game and Martin Fraisl had to deny efforts from Tijjani Noslin (33’) and Arianit Ferati (35’). He was also on hand to keep out Mats Seuntjens’ cheeky attempt to score directly from the corner (36’) before Schalke finally took a deserved lead. After the Sittard defence did enough to put off Blendi Idrizi as he shot at goal (40’), Marvin Pieringer made the most of the opposition’s inability to clear the ball. Pieringer made a quick sprint to latch onto a poor backpass to van Osch and dribbled past the keeper before comfortably slotting it away to give Schalke the lead (41’), and the scoreline remained 1-0 as the teams headed off the pitch at half time.

FC Schalke 04 - Fortuna Sittard

Ferati equalises for Sittard

Ralf Fährmann and Dries Wouters came in for Martin Fraisl and Salif Sané for the second half. Fährmann’s first call to action was following a flat cross into the box Tijjani Noslin and he had to get ahead of Mats Seuntjens to claim the ball (49’). Three minutes later, the Schalke keeper could do nothing to prevent the equaliser. Tijjani Noslin dribbled down the right flank and tried again with a flat cross into the box. Malick Thiaw was positioned well but was unable to clear the ball from danger and Arianit Ferati took advantage of this and turned the ball home from ten yards to draw Fortuna level (52’). Blendi Idrizi tried to provide an immediate response for S04 the ball fell to him on the edge of the box following a Rodrigo Zalazar corner, but the ball flew high over the bar (54’).

FC Schalke 04 - Fortuna Sittard

Several changes made just past the hour mark

The guests worked the ball better in the second half compared to the first and in the 62nd minute, a cross from Ben Rienstra was sent in towards the Schalke penalty box, but Fährmann came out to claim the ball. Grammozis then made eight changes, five of which have played regularly for Schalke’s reserves – Daniel Kyerewaa, Joey Müller, Leo Weschenfelder-Scienza, Bleron Krasniqi and Rufat Dadashov.

Leo Weschenfelder-Scienza won back possession in the 68th minute and played it right to Bleron Krasniqi, whose shot on goal from thirteen yards forced Yanick van Osch into making a save. Three minutes later, the guests had a chance for their second goal of the day, as Mats Seuntjens dribbled into the box from the left-hand side and played it to Tijjani Noslin, who volleyed towards goal from just seven yards out. Fortunately, Fährmann made a good reflex save to keep the score at 1-1. At the other end, Daniel Kyerewaa drove towards Fortuna’s penalty box without any real challenge from the Sittard defence and then shot on goal from eighteen yards out, and the ball flew just past the post (76’).

The majority of the latter stages of the match was played in the middle of the pitch. Richie Musaba had the last real chance of the game, letting fly after the ball deflected to him from a corner-kick situation (87’). The match ended 1-1.

FC Schalke 04 - Fortuna Sittard

First competitive match of 2022 against Kiel

S04 continue their league campaign next weekend at home against Holstein Kiel on Sunday 16th January. The match will begin at the VELTINS-Arena at 13:30 CET.

Match facts

Schalke: Fraisl (46′ Fährmann) – Thiaw (63′ Becker), Sané (46′ Wouters), Matriciani – Ranftl (63′ Kyerewaa), Pálsson (63′ Flick), Calhanoglu (63′ Müller) – Zalazar (63′ Weschenfelder-Scienza), Idrizi (63′ Mikhailov) – Pieringer (63′ Krasniqi), Bülter (63′ Dadashov)
Sittard: Van Osch – Lonwijk (55′ Johansson), Angha, Janssen, Pinto, Duarte (80′ Musaba) – Rienstra, Samaris, Ferati (80′ Celtik) – Seuntjens, Noslin (76′)
Goals: 1-0 Pieringer (41′), 1-1 Ferati
Referee: Fuchs (Odenthal)
Attendance:

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