Schalke draw 1-1 in Enschede
FC Schalke 04 drew 1-1 with FC Twente in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday night (23/7). Berkan Firat scored the Schalke goal in front of 19,000 fans in the Grolsch Veste, with over 2,000 away fans making the journey over the border.
U21 Euros runners-up back in action
Alexander Nübel made his return to action after the U21 Euros. The keeper started the game in Enschede. Suat Serdar, who was also in the Germany squad, came on in the second half. Both youngsters were given an additional break to recover from the tournament and have only just re-joined the squad. Schalke were without Fabian Reese and Sebastian Rudy (infections) and Steven Skrzybski (rested).
No goal before the break
Despite the high temperatures, both teams tried their best to attack one another early on, although both defences were secure and didn’t give the attackers much space or freedom. The first notable chance fell to the hosts after around 15 minutes. Rafik Zekhnini’s 20-yard effort didn’t trouble Nübel, with the ball rolling past the left post. Ahmed Kutucu had Schalke’s first opportunity, but his shot was cleared for a corner (18’). Kutucu was then involved again as the Royal Blues came a lot closer to scoring: He played in Amine Harit, who saw his shot tipped wide by Twente keeper Joel Drommel (22’).
Nübel was busy again in the 33rd minute, kicking a dangerous deflection from Piet Bijen away after a Aitor free-kick. The ‘Tukkers’ had another chance before the break: Aitor passed it to Haris Vuckic, however the Slovenian couldn’t keep his shot down (37’). S04 had two more notable attacks in the first half. Bastian Oczipka cut inside in the 44th minute, only to see Drommel make a strong save to his left. Matija Nastasic then headed over the resulting corner.
More chances after Firat’s goal
David Wagner made three changes at the break: Guido Burgstaller, Jason Ceka and Markus Schubert all came on. Schubert was forced to make a strong save in the 49th minute from Vucki. His opposite number then made a nice stop seven minutes later from S04 sub Ceka’s long-distance shot.
Twente’s fans were close to celebrating a goal after 65 minutes, however Schubert showed his class again as he parried Selahi’s shot. The sub keeper was then finally beaten (79’). Twente’s sub Alexander Laukart smashed home with his left foot from a narrow angle to make it 1-0 to the ‘Tukkers’. The Royal Blues found the perfect answer just three minutes later though. Berkan Firat from the U23s played a one-two with Burgstaller in the box and then burst through three defenders before he calmly slotted home the equaliser (82’).
Firat then came close to making it 2-1 just minutes later, but his shot was blocked. Suat Serdar then looked to have scored the second goal for the visitors just 60 seconds later. Drommel managed to tip the shot over the bar, before denying him again with his foot moments later. The final chance of the game fell to the goalscorer Firat, but Drommel was on hand yet again to ensure things ended level.
Three friendlies in the training camp
The next pre-season test will come on Monday (29/7) as part of the training camp in Mittersill against FC Bologna. The Royal Blues will be in the national park Hohe Tauern from July 26 – August 3. They will also face Alanyaspor from Turkey and FC Villarreal from Spain on the penultimate day of the camp.