3-1 against Hebei - Schalke score three in final five minutes
It was the second friendly of China’s Schalke Tour, though it wasn’t quite the spectacle witnessed in the 3-3 draw with Southampton last week. The Royal Blues defeated Hebei Chine Fortune 3-1 to return to Germany unbeaten in the Far East. Domenico Tedesco’s men struggled for long periods against their partner club, eventually sealing a 3-1 win in the final five minutes.
Tedesco made seven changes from the side that started against Southampton, and gave a debut start to new boys Suat Serdar, Steven Skrzybski and Omar Mascarell – all three had started on the bench against Southampton.
Schalke fail to capitalise on good start
The Royal Blues started the game stronger, and saw good chances from Bernard Tekpetey, Yevhen Konoplyanka and Steven Skryzbski go begging. The former was at the head of all of his side’s attacks and Schalke’s best chance of the half following a corner from the hosts. Benjamin Stambouli cleared to Steven Skrzybski who then sent the Ghanian racing clear, though Yang Cheng in the Hebei goal was equal to the effort.
The hosts remained dangerous and pushed for the qualiser, and Alex Nübel was called into a fine save with his feet to deny the equaliser. Schalke ended the half on the stronger foot, with Franco di Santo volleying over and Naldo unable to force the ball over the line from a corner.
Eleven changes at half time
Schalke made 11 changes at the break, as they had done against Southampton, giving a run out to academy players Nassim Boujellab and Ahmed and Kutucu from the under-19s.
The Chinese Super League side did more pressing, but Gervinho and Dong Xuescheng couldn#t find a breakthrough. Five minutes later and the Royal Blues were behind as the ball rebounded off Mark Uth to give Xueshang a tap following a corner in the 67th minute.
Schalke tried to respond positively, but narrowly missed out on a goal from both a Johannes Geis free-kick and a Mark Uth diving header. With four minutes left to play, when Schalke appeared to have run out of gas, Cedric Teuchert bagged the equaliser after a nice combination between U19 substitutes Benjamin Goller and Ahmed Kutucu: The square pass slipped through the legs of defender Lang Zheng, behind whom Teuchert was lurking.
Less than 60 seconds later, it was Goller once more who battled his way through down the left and played the ball into the middle.
Uth got the vital yard on his marker and finished to make it 2-1. Hebei had been completely overpowered – Schalke turned the game on its head in less than a minute. And they weren’t done yet: This time Uth crossed the ball in, again from the left, his cross struck Jin Yangyang and deflected into the net for 3-1.
On Thursday, the Royal Blues will be heading back home. Domenico Tedesco’s side will be given a few days off to rest after a tiring tour in China before training resumes at Gelsenkirchen on Monday. The next friendly will be on the following Saturday (21st July) at 17:00 CEST away to Schwarz-Weiß-Essen.