German Cup: Mainz stun Schalke with late goal

March 4th, 2009 - 3:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Mainz (Germany), March 4 (DPA) A late goal by Burkina Faso striker Aristide Bance two minutes from time gave German second division club Mainz 05 an upset 1-0 victory over Bundesliga side Schalke 04 and a place in the semi-finals of the German Cup.
Fans from both sides in Mainz were expecting the game to go into extra-time Tuesday when Mainz were awarded a free-kick close to the half-way line.

Florian Heller floated the ball over the heads of two Schalke defenders and it fell to Bance, who had stolen his way behind the defence.

The striker had a simple tap-in from close range past Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to give Mainz their first-ever place in the semi-finals of the German Cup.

Mainz started the match very defensively, but allowed their first division opponents very few chances, though creating virtually none of their own in the first half.

Schalke twice looked dangerous when Mainz goalkeeper Timo Wache failed to come off his line decisively, but in the first instance Heiko Westermann headed wide and then Mladen Krstajic saw his header bounce against the upright.

In the second half, Mainz coach Joern Andersen encouraged his players to be a bit more offensive, but it took Bance’s 88th minute strike to give them victory.

Andersen said that even if Schalke had more of the play, his side was good for the victory. “There is nothing deserved or undeserved in cup football.

“We allowed them very little and worked very hard for this victory. Now we only have one game left and then we will qualify for the final in Berlin.”

The coach said that his players, who started partying on the field after the final whistle had been blown, deserved their celebration.

“My players really did so well that they deserve to enjoy their victory. I am sure they will do that, but from Wednesday, we will again start working towards our main goal, which is gaining promotion to the first division,” he said.

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