Rapid friendly ends in 2-2 draw

Schalke’s first friendly of the winter break against Rapid Vienna ended in a 2-2 draw. The Royal blues led 2-0 at the break but the hosts staged an impressive second half comeback.

Four U23s in the starting XI

Head coach Thomas Reis utilised a 4-3-3 formation at the Allianz Stadion on Friday evening. Four players from the U23’s were in the starting XI, with Julius Schell playing at centre-back, Joey Müller at left-back, Andreas Ivan in central midfield and Soichiro Kozuki on the right. Former Schalker Guido Burgstaller started for the hosts.

Kozuki gives Schalke an early lead

Schalke had their first opportunity of the game with less than two minutes on the clock, when Jordan Larsson found Marius Bülter in behind with a smart ball over the top. The 29-year-old failed to control it and Rapid cleared their lines (2’). It didn’t take long, however, before the guests took the lead. Joey Müller fed Bülter down the left-hand-side and the wide man whipped a low cross into the penalty area to find Soichiro Kozuki, who slotted it past the goalkeeper (8’).

The hosts got into the contest as the half progressed and Burgstaller had their first real opportunity of the game when he cut inside and tested Alexander Schwolow with a curling effort from around 20 yards (23’). Less than a minute later, Moormann tried his luck from a similar distance but the Schalke keeper was up to the task and tipped it over the bar. Schwolow was called into action once again 6 minutes later when Burgstaller found himself in behind, but the 30-year-old denied the former Schalke man with his outstretched leg (29’).

Terodde makes it two

The hosts were made to pay for their missed chances on the half-hour mark when Simon Terodde made it two. Marius Bülter flicked it smartly into the feet of Jordan Larsson, who squared into the path of Simon Terodde. The number nine took a touch and cooly tucked it past Niklas Hedl from eight yards (31’).

Despite Schalke’s 2-0 lead, it remained a relatively even contest with both sides having good opportunities before the half time whistle. Henning Matriciani crucially intercepted a cross before it could reach Burgstaller in the six-yard-box (42’), before Marius Bülter had a decent chance for the guests at the opposite end (44’). Burgstaller, who was by far Rapid’s most dangerous player in the first half, had another glorious opportunity before the break but he was once again denied by Schwolow (44’). The Royal Blues had one final chance before the half time whistle, when Marius Bülter whipped a cross into the penalty area to find Simon Terodde, who’s scuffed volley failed to test Hedl.

Seven changes at the break - Rapid get back into the contest straight away

Thomas Reis made seven changes at the break with Ralf Fährmann, Sebastian Polter, Kenan Karaman, Daniel Kyerewaa, Verthomy Boboy, Florent Mollet and Tobias Mohr coming on for Alexander Schwolow, Simon Terodde, Soichiro Kozuki, Cedric Brunner, Henning Matriciani, Jordan Larsson and Marius Bülter. Ibrahima Cissé also came on to replace Julius Schell later in the half.

The hosts got off to a flier after the break when substitute Christoph Knasmüllne impressively curled a free-kick past the diving Fährmann from 20 yards (48’). The sweet strike seemed to inspire Rapid, who went on to have a couple of decent chances before the hour-mark. Ante Bajic had a headed chance (53’) and found himself in on goal just a few moments later after a delicious through-ball. The Rapid man dinked it over Fährmann but Schell was there to clear it off the goal line (54’).

Schalke found it difficult at times in the second half but Tobias Mohr thought he had given his side a 3-1 just before the hour when he slotted it past the goalkeeper. Unfortunately for Mohr, the goal was ruled out for offside. The goalkeeper then sloppily gave it away from the resulting goal kick but Mohr couldn’t take advantage (61’).

Rapid equalise from the spot

Just two minutes later, the guests equalised. A Martin Koscelnik cross hit Tobias Mohr on the elbow and the referee pointed to the spot. Roman Kerschbaum stepped up and kept his cool to slot it past Fährmann (62’).

Bernhard Zimmermann then had two chances to give the hosts the lead, but the first hit the woodwork (66’) and the second was blocked by Verthomy Boboy (68’). Schalke tried to seize the initiative and Tom Krauß thought he was in on goal when he cut out a sloppy pass back to the goalkeeper. It looked as though the last man had dragged Krauß to the floor but no foul was given (72’). Ralf Fährmann then came to the rescue when he impressively denied Ante Bajic who had found his way in behind (75’).

Both teams had chances in the final few minutes. Christoph Knasmüllner narrowly missed the target with a curling effort from a tight angle with the outside of his boot (80’), before Mollet hit the crossbar with a free kick from just outside the penalty area (84’). Kenan Karaman had a headed opportunity in stoppage time but he narrowly missed the target (90’) and the match ended in a 2-2 draw.

Back in action against Split

The Royal Blues are next in action next Friday (16th December) when they are set to face Crotain side Hajduk Split at the Poljud Stadium (18:00 CET).

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