It was a less than auspicious beginning to the new Bundesliga season on Friday, as shortly before the kickoff there was a black out in Bremen. Despite a one-hour delay, Werder was still able to beat Schalke 1-0.
Bremen's Johan Micoud is tackeld by Schalke's Mladen Krstajic
Only four minutes before the match was to begin, construction not far from Werder Bremen's stadium caused a major power outage plunging 43,000 fans into darkness. After an hour delay it looked like the first match of the new season was going to be postponed.
One hour after the the German Bundesliga soccer match between Werder Bremen and FC Schalke should begin it's dark in the Weserstadium in Bremen, northern Germany.
Supporters from both Bremen and Schalke 04 began to get restless, but fortunately power was restored and things got underway. It was perhaps a strange matchup in the first place, since two players that helped win Werder the title last season, Mladen Krstajic and star Brazilian striker Ailton, were wearing Schalke blue after switching teams.
The evening was billed as a duel between Ailton and his five-million-euro replacement, German international Miroslav Klose. However, both were ineffective in the first half. Ailton almost broke clear in the 32nd minute but a lofted through pass hit him on the back allowing the Bremen rearguard to regroup.
Schalke's Braziliann soccer player Ailton jumps for the ball during the German first soccer division match between SV Werder Bremen and FC Schalke 04 in Bremen's Weserstadium.
Four minutes before half-time Bremen goalkeeper Andreas Reinke appeared to forget that Ailton was no longer a Werder player racing out of his goal - when there appeared little danger - allowing Ailton to pick up the ball by the touchline. But last season's top Bundesliga scorer drifted a lob wide of the post to spare Reinke's blushes.
The other former Bremen man Krstajic had a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the second half but his final touch let him down as Reinke whipped the ball off his toe in the penalty area.
But despite Schalke's pressure it was Bremen who took the spoils with Paraguayan substitute Nelson Haedo Valdez reacting to a knockdown from Frenchman Valerien Ismael in the 83th minute to poke home. Valdez had only been on the field nine minutes after replacing Bremen debutant Klose.
Bremen: 1 Reinke - 3 Pasanen, 25 Ismael, 2 Fahrenhorst, 7 Stalteri - 24 Borowski, 6 Baumann, 4 Ernst - 10 Micoud - 11 Klose, 17 Klasnic
Schalke: 1 Rost - 18 Oude Kamphuis, 15 Waldoch, 20 Krstajic, 24 Pander - 2 Poulsen, 6 Altintop, 17 Vermant, 3 Kobiaschwili - 9 Ailton, 26 Hanke
Attendance: 43,000 (sold out)