Schalke shattered Bayern Munich's hopes of retaining the German Cup, with a 1-0 victory away from home. The Ruhr valley side will now meet second division neighbors Duisburg at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.
It was an uphill battle for Bayern after Raul headed in
Schalke sunk German Cup holders Bayern Munich on Wednesday with a single goal, taking them to the final of the competition.
Schalke went into defensive mode as Bayern poured forward
The defeat leaves soccer giants Bayern, who were league and cup winners last season, with only the Champions League as a realistic target for silverware.
In a rematch of last year's cup semi-final, visiting side Schalke took advantage of sloppy passing by Bayern and threatened to score in the 14th minute through a Raul volley.
Just a minute later, the former Real Madrid star was on target as Benedikt Höwedes headed the ball on to him from a corner - allowing Raul to score with a header from close range.
Bayern appeared to dominate the rest of the first half but only really began to create real chances in the second.
The Bavarians put the visitors under real pressure after the break, but were unlucky as Dutch winger Arjen Robben failed to connect with a cross from Franck Ribery. Bastian Schweinsteiger might also have scored had his free header not been aimed straight at Schalke keeper Manuel Neuer.
Fine performance from keeper
Indeed, the 24-year-old Germany goalkeeper put in a solid performance throughout the second-half onslaught, ignoring a "No Neuer" protest behind his goal by Bayern fans opposed to his possible transfer to their football club.
Bayern fans let Neuer know he would not be welcome as a new signing at the club
Robben was booked with 20 minutes remaining for contact with Neuer and Bayern's Mario Gomez had a penalty appeal turned down with eight minutes remaining. In the end, the 1-0 score was enough to see Schalke through to the final.
"On balance we were very dangerous, and we could have scored again," said Schalke coach Felix Magath. "In that respect we deserve it even if we didn't do much in the second half apart from defend."
Ruhr derby match in Berlin
Schalke will face second-division Duisburg - a fellow Ruhr valley side - in the final in Berlin in May.
Some Bayern fans in the crowd held signs calling for the dismissal of coach Louis van Gaal. The Dutchman himself called the result, Bayern's first home loss in the cup in almost 20 years, a "big disappointment."
The home defeat was the second in succession for Bayern after a 3-1 Bundesliga trouncing by runaway league leaders Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, which effectively put the Bundesliga title out of the Bavarians' reach.
Author: Richard Connor (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Catherine Bolsover