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Penalty drama

July 24, 2011

Filling the gap before the start of the new Bundesliga season, Saturday's Super Cup meeting matched the German Cup champions against the league champions. Schalke came out triumphant, beating Dortmund 4-3 on penalties.

Team celebrate win with trophy
Schalke 04 won the Super Cup on penalties at GelsenkirchenImage: dapd

Schalke's star goalkeeper from the 2010/11 season, Manuel Neuer, may have moved on to fresh opportunities with Bayern Munich, but his replacement has already won over the Schalke fans. A spectacular debut for Ralf Fährmann saw him save two penalties as his side beat Borussia Dortmund to win the German Super Cup.

The Super Cup pits the winner of the Bundesliga, Dortmund, against the winner of the German Cup, Schalke.

For both teams, the game is an important warm-up before the start of the Bundesliga on August 5, and a chance to test some of the summer's new signings. For the fans, it was a chance to get back in the stadium, and witness the local rivals face off for the first time in months.

0-0 deadlock

Dortmund began strongly, with a header from captain Sebastian Kehl hitting the post, and swift passes from Mario Götze and Shinji Kagawa outfoxing the Schalke defense.

Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann makes a save
Fährmann has returned to Schalke after playing for Eintracht Frankfurt since 2009Image: dapd

However, Schalke were also stamping their presence on the game, with Benedict Höwedes heading a free kick just over the bar. Höwedes received a bloody head in the process, and spent the rest of the game sporting a bandage.

The main reason the scoreboard remained level, was the consistently impressive Fährmann. The 22-year old blocked shots from Dortmund's Kevin Großkreuz and produced a superb one-handed save to deny Robert Lewandowski before half-time. The second half was slightly more even, with Schalke's Jan Moravek's shot pushed wide by Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller. Lewis Holtby, back from loan to Mainz, also worked hard to keep Schalke in the game. The score was 0-0 at full time.


Dortmund have had a recent run of bad penalties, and unfortunately for them, the Super Cup at Gelsenkirchen will now add to this streak.

The first two penalties for both sides hit the mark. However a poor kick by Großkreutz for the third, was saved by Fährmann. Schalke's Höwedes made no mistake with their third penalty, and both Moritz Leitner and Jose Jurado found the net with the next shots.

Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (r.) battles in air with Dortmund's Felipe Santana
The second side was far more evenly matchedImage: dapd

Dortmund's new signing Ivan Perisic stepped up to take Dortmund's fifth penalty, with the score at 3-4 in Schalke's favor. Again, a poor shot was saved by Fährmann, handing the Super Cup to Schalke.

Fährmann was lifted up onto the shoulders of his teammates, who went on to pick up the first trophy of the new season.

"This win is very satisfying, it's super," said Fährmann after the match. Fährmann spent several seasons at Schalke as a youngster, but left in 2009 for Eintracht Frankfurt after having his progress blocked by Neuer.

Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick said his team had "done well" but they still need the two weeks leading up to the Bundesliga to iron out the side.

"I don't think Schalke deserved this," said new Dortmund signing Ilkay Gündogan, who scored the opening penalty for his side. "It's been a long time since I saw so many chances wasted," Gündogan added.

The Super Cup was reinstated officially last year by the DFB after a 14-year absence.

Author: Catherine Bolsover (dpa, Reuters, AFP, SID)
Editor: Andreas Illmer