Football: FSV Mainz 05 advance to semi-final of DFB Pokal

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

German side 1. FSV Mainz 05, of the Second Bundesliga, have reached the semi-finals of the DFB Pokal, Germany's equivalent of the FA Cup, for the first time in their history. They defeated Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04 by 1 - 0 on a goal from Aristide Bancé in the 88th minute. For Schalke, it was just another disappointment in an already dismal season; being elminiated from the Cup means they must improve their current Bundesliga standing to fifth - it was eighth place at the conclusion of the 22nd Matchday - to have any chance to appear in the UEFA Europa League.

Mainz got started just after the first whistle, when Markus Feulner had a shot from the left side blocked by Jefferson Farfán after eight minutes. However, Schalke began to dominate after the half-hour mark. A shot from Heiko Westermann sailed just wide of the goal in the thirty-second, and a corner kick from Mladen Kristaljic richocheted off the crossbar eight minutes later. Schalke manager Andreas Müller was unhappy with his team's effort in the first half, however, saying "We don't have enough power to penetrate towards the front." Striker Kevin Kurányi was replaced by Halil Altintop at the break. An opportunity for Mainz in the sixty-eighth was stopped by keeper Manuel Neuer after an unsuccessful rescue attempt by Ivan Rakitic. Altintop had a shot fly inches wide of the post in the seventy-first. Schalke nearly gave up a penalty in the eighty-second as Rafinha made a hard and controversial tackle on Srđan Baljak, but referee Felix Brych allowed play to continue. Finally, in the eighty-eighth, Aristide Bancé converted off of a long indirect free kick to put Mainz through to the semi-finals.

March 3, 2009
20:30 (UTC+1)
1. FSV Mainz 05 1 – 0 FC Schalke 04 Stadion am Bruchweg, Mainz
Attendance: 20,100
Referee: Felix Brych (Munich)
Karhan Booked after 60 minutes 60'
Soto Substituted on after 66 minutes 66'
Buckley Substituted off after 66 minutes 66'
Neustädter Substituted on after 75 minutes 75'
Feulner Substituted off after 75 minutes 75'
Bancé Scored after 88 minutes 88'
SvenssonSubstituted on after 90 minutes 90'
Baljak Substituted off after 90 minutes 90'
Altintop Substituted on after 45 minutes 45'
Kurányi Substituted off after 45 minutes 45'
Rakitic Substituted on after 64 minutes 64'
Engelaar Substituted off after 64 minutes 64'