Schalke Ends 9-month Winless Run With German Cup Victory over Schweinfurt
Schalke (Photo Credit: Twitter)
Schalke ended its nine-month winless streak in all competitions by beating fourth-tier club Schweinfurt 4-1 in the first round of the German Cup on Tuesday.
The game was closer than the scoreline would suggest. Schweinfurt briefly led on a goal from Martin Thomann before Vedad Ibisevic and Alessandro Schpf responded to give Schalke a 2-1 lead at the break. Schweinfurt won a penalty saved by Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fhrmann before Schpf and Benito Raman extended Schalke’s lead.
Before Tuesday, Schalke had last won a competitive game on Feb. 4 against Hertha Berlin in extra time in the cup.
The financially troubled club is still on a 22-game winless streak in the Bundesliga going back to January. That is the second-worst run for any team in league history.
Schweinfurt was competing in two different seasons at once. While it had a place in the 2020-21 German Cup, it’s still contesting the 2019-20 campaign in the the Bavarian regional league. Officials there opted to carry on with that campaign after a suspension for the coronavirus pandemic rather than start a new season.
The Schweinfurt-Schalke game was originally scheduled for September but delayed because of a legal challenge by another team from Bavaria, Trkgc, which disputed how the German Cup spot was allocated when the 2019-20 season was disrupted by the pandemic.
Schweinfurt was nominally the home team, but the game was played at Schalke’s stadium with no spectators allowed. Numerous lower-league clubs gave away hosting rights for the German Cup because of the financial burden of adapting stadiums for TV broadcasts without any ticket revenue.