A debut and three comebacks during 4-2 defeat to Viktoria Köln
FC Schalke 04 fell 4-2 at the hands of Viktoria Köln on Friday (6.9) after two late goals from the third-division side. After recovering from a foot injury, Ozan Kabak made his debut for the Royal Blues, while Jonas Carls, Rabbi Matondo and Mark Uth all made their comebacks after lengthy breaks. The latter of the two also added their names to the scoresheet.
S04 without several internationals
The Knappen were without Amine Harit, Ahmed Kutucu, Weston McKennie, Juan Miranda, Matija Nastasic, Benito Raman and Markus Schubert. All seven players were off on international duty for the first time this season with their respective countries. Additionally, Alexander Nübel, Salif Sané, Jonjoe Kenny and Guido Burgstaller were not in the squad due to workload control, on the orders of head coach David Wagner.
Also missing were Nassim Boujellab, Levent Mercan and Fabian Reese. The trio were in action with Schalke’s U23s against Borussia Mönchengladbach’s reserves. In exchange, U23s head coach Torsten Fröhling sent Görkem Can, Jan-Eric Hempel, Philip Fontein and Umar Saho Sarho up to the first team. Also in the squad was U19 goalkeeper Erdem Canpolat.
An early setback after a delayed kick-off
The match in the Jahnstadion in Bottrop began a bit later than planned, as Viktoria Köln found were delayed by traffic. Once the ball started rolling, it was Köln who got off to an early start. Just five minutes in, Lars Dietz headed in a corner to give his side a 1-0 lead. The Royal Blues could have had an equaliser on the following counter-attack. However, Uth was unable to slot it past Sebastian Patzler from a narrow angle, as the goalkeeper was able to clear it.
Instead, the second goal of the night would fall on the other end of the pitch. This time, the goalscorer for the third-division side was a Schalker. After a quick goal-kick from Michael Langer, Suat Serdar played it back to the goalkeeper, who bobbled his first touch and had to watch as the ball rolled into the net (19’).
Uth and Matondo score on their comebacks
Schalke made things difficult for themselves during the first half. Their opponents were compact on defense and didn’t leave much space on the pitch. Then, in the 31st minute, Mark Uth found himself with a golden opportunity, but saw his shot saved. Shortly after, the attacker was able to cut the deficit in half after knocking it in from short distance with his thigh (33’).
The goal marked the start of a stronger phase for the Royal Blues. Steven Skrzybski had a chance to equalise in the 37th minute, before Matondo was able to bring his side level. The Welshman headed in a through ball from Caligiuri, which was redirected his way by Schöpf. Just like Uth, the youngster marked his return to the pitch with a goal.
Good chances left unused
Just 60 seconds in to the second half, Uth had chance to make it 3-2. After a defensive breakdown from Viktoria Köln, the attacker unexpectedly found himself with the ball, but sent his shot wide of goal. Five minutes later, Uth once again narrowly missed hitting the target. The opponents had a chance to take the lead once again in the 56th minute, but substitute Ernesto Carratala Jimenez’s shot hit the crossbar.
Ten minutes later, Hempel had a go on the other end. The shot from the U23 player was saved by Sebastian Patzler’s face – likely not the way he had intended to do so. The goalkeeper was able to continue playing after receiving treatment from the medical staff. Skrzybski was nearly able to make it 3-2 shortly after. After a defensive mix-up from Köln, his shot nonetheless went wide of goal (68’). In the 73rd minute, Skrzybski was once again part of a strong counter-attack. Alessandro Schöpf was able to get on the end of his through-ball into the box but was unable to score.
Two late goals the deciding factor
The missed chances would come back to haunt Schalke. In the 83rd minute, Simon Handle netted from 18 metres out to give his side the lead. Just a minute later, Carratala added another to make it 4-2. The German-Cuban sent his shot from outside the box directly into the top right corner. The sixth goal to fall that day would end up being the last.
Schalke: Langer – Caligiuri (46′ Oczipka), Kabak, Stambouli (46′ Can), Carls (83′ Saho Sarho) – Serdar, Fontein (46′ Mascarell) – Skrzybski, Schöpf, Matondo (46′ Hempel) – Uth
Köln: Patzler – Lang, Dietz (70′ Funke), de Vita, Koronkiewicz – Dej (39′ Klefisch), Ristl – Holzweiler, Wunderlich, Tachie – Kreyer
Goals: 0-1 Dietz (5′), 0-2 Serdar (19′, own goal), 1-2 Uth (33′), 2-2 Matondo (39′), 2-3 Handle (83′), 2-4 Carratala Jimenez (84′)
Referee: Siewer (Olpe)