A full house SchücoArena in Bielefeld played host to an thrilling DFB-Pokal (German Cup) Round 2 encounter between hosts DSC Arminia Bielefeld and FC Schalke 04 on Tuesday night. The match ended in a 3-2 win for the visitors.
Bielefeld squeezed through to Round 2 of the DFB-Pokal with a narrow 1-0 away win at 4th Division club FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, while Schalke advanced with a 5-0 win against SV Drochtersen/Assel in their Round 1 fixture. Both sides had mixed fortunes in their domestic leagues so far as in-form Arminia Bielefeld enjoy an impressive campaign in Bundesliga 2 as they rank 2nd in the league standings. The visitors from the top tier Bundesliga rank 7th in the league after a 0-0 draw against archrivals Borussia Dortmund last Saturday.
Schalke head coach David Wagner had praised Bielefeld before the match while knowing the challenge ahead for his side: “Arminia are a team that play great football. They have plenty of quality going forward.” But the former Huddersfield Town manager clearely stated that “we want to win this game, no matter what.”
“Schalke are the clear favourites,” Wagner’s counterpart Uwe Neuhaus told in the pre-match press conference. “But a surprise might be very well possible, just because it’s the DFB-Pokal.”
And Bielefeld almost pulled a surprise which Neuhaus and the home team supporters hoped for as the game developed from a one-sided affair to an exciting cup match.
Schalke almost opened the score sheet just two minutes into the game when Amine Harit’s shot took a deflection and narrowly missed the target. The visitor’s took full control of the match and another Harit shot hit the post in the 11th minute.
Schalke broke the deadlock five minutes later as Alessandro Schöpf found the back of the net with a powerful shot which left Bielefeld goalkeeper Stefan Ortega Moreno helpless. Benito Raman and Mark Uth were close to further increase the lead just moments later as Bielefeld looked totally unable to cope with the pressure.
In the 25th minute, Schalke took advantage from a poor kick out from Ortega Moreno to take a 2-0 lead. Ortega Moreno’s kick out went straight to Uth who served a perfectly-timed pass to Raman. The Belgian striker chipped the ball over the Bielefeld goalkeeper into the goal.
Benito Raman completed the misery for the home side with another goal in the 31st minute and it looked like if Schalke were all set for an easy win in front of 26,203 fans.
Bielefeld were lucky not to concede two more goals in the first half as Schalke went into the half-time break with a 3-0 lead.
The second half turned out to be a different affair as Bielefeld returned to action with much more confidence and confidence. Andreas Voglsammer registered Arminia’s first chance of the game when Schalke defender Salif Sané denied a goal with a goal-line clearance.
The game took off in the last 20 minutes as Bielefeld took full control of the match. Fabian Klos reduced the margin in the 72nd minute, when a Jonathan Clauss cross from the right flank found the Arminia captain in the box who hit the target from a close range.
Moments later, the crowd went wild as Cebio Soukou’s long-range shot took a deflection and went into the Schalke goal. The atmosphere at the SchücoArena reached a new climax as Bielefeld realized that they were at the verge to pull a major comeback.
And Bielefeld created several chances to score the equaliser, as Klos’ back-heel attempt (79′) was saved on the goal-line and Voglsammer’s shot hit the post (90′). Schalke were out on their feet as David Wagner’s team were just waiting for the full time whistle.
Referee Manuel Gräfe blew the full time whistle after four minutes of stoppage time as FC Schalke 04 escaped with a lucky 3-2 win against Arminia Bielefeld.
DSC Arminia Bielefeld 2-3 FC Schalke 04
0-1 Alessandro Schöpf (16′)
0-2 Benito Raman (25′)
0-3 Benito Raman (31′)
1-3 Fabian Klos (72′)
2-3 Cebio Soukou (77′)
DSC Arminia Bielefeld
Ortega Moreno – Clauss, Pieper, Nilsson, Lucoqui – Hartel, Prietl, Yabo (46′ Seufert) – Soukou, Klos, Voglsammer
FC Schalke 04
Nübel – Kabak, Mascarell, Sané – McKennie (72′ Serdar) – Kenny, Harit, Schöpf, Oczipka – Raman (84′ Burgstaller), Uth (90′ Nastasic)
Frederick Assmuth, Markus Sinn