Schalke saves point in Augsburg
In he has the majority FC Schalke 04 saved an important point in the relegation battle with a penalty goal by Marius Bülter in added time. The Royal Blues, who were still undefeated in the second half of the season, drew 1-1 (0-0) at FC Augsburg on Saturday, who had to settle for a draw in their 200th home game in the Bundesliga after four wins at home.
Even without a goal from attacker Mergim Berisha, who was nominated for the national team for the first time, Augsburg were initially on course for victory. The 24-year-old’s goal-scoring job was taken over by midfielder Arne Maier (51st minute) in front of 30,360 spectators in the sold-out WWK Arena on Saturday.
With his third goal of the season, the 24-year-old benefited from a blunder by the previously good Schalke goalkeeper Ralph Ferryman. He hit the ball from his penalty area technically uncleanly at Maier, who hit the short corner after a one-two with Ermedin Demirovic. The jubilation had hardly died down when Demirovic, who provided the assist, saw the red card (53′). The Augsburg attacker hit Schalke’s Tom Krauss in the jump with his foot stretched out in the middle of the face. Referee Daniel Schlager recognized gross foul play.
In the majority, the hitherto offensively harmless Schalke pushed for the equalizer. Substitute Simon Terodde missed the goal with the greatest opportunity (71st). In injury time, the attacker was violently fouled by FCA captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw. Bülter converted with nerves of steel from the point (90 + 3). Added time lasted ten minutes in total. augsburg is still seven points ahead of Schalke in the table.
Of course, the cameras and eyes in the sold-out Augsburg Arena were especially focused on Berisha. The appointment by the national coach Hansi Flick gave the 24-year-old attacker an extra boost. “It’s a dream that’s coming true,” said the 2021 European Junior Champion, who can now recommend himself to the big boys. He “worked long and hard for it,” said the FCA’s eight-time goalscorer this season.
Hard work was also called for against Schalke. Berisha got into action in the first minute, but his header ended up on the goal net. The Schalke defense marked him closely as a result. A dangerous cross from Berisha defused central defender Maya Yoshida in the penalty area (42′). The greatest chance came from Elvis Rexhbecaj, whose low shot the Schalke goalkeeper Fährmann was able to parry with his right hand for a corner (23′). Augsburg dominated, but many actions fizzled out.
And Schalke? Was largely stable at the back except for the ferryman’s lapse. But far too little happened. A shot by Bülter was the most dangerous action for a long time (19′). Coach Thomas Reis also replaced midfield clearer Eder Balanta, who was threatened early on by yellow-red. In the majority, Reis relied on two center forwards, twice the power of Michael Frey and Terodde in the penalty area paid off late.