Jerome Gondorf’s injury time winner gave SV Darmstadt 98 a dramatic win over 10-man FC Schalke to preserve their Bundesliga status for now.
Darmstadt 2-1 Schalke
Goals: 1-0 Vrancic (11'), 1-1 Coke (75'), 2-1 Gondorf (90+2)
Red card: Kehrer (81')
The hosts showed no sign that they were resigned to dropping out of the top flight just yet and they were soon ahead, Marcel Heller’s low cross eluding Schalke’s defence to be met by Mario Vrancic for a simple finish. The Lilies’ goal came under siege but they held firm, with Schalke’s best chance to level before the break coming when Michael Esser pulled off an excellent save to flick Thilo Kehrer’s downwards header over his crossbar.
The Darmstadt ‘keeper’s heroics continued after the break when he used his feet to save Guido Burgstaller’s penalty, awarded when Daniel Caligiuri’s run into the box was blocked by Aytac Sulu. Schalke were kept at bay until 15 minutes remained, when Dennis Aogo’s chip into the box was firmly headed home by an unmarked Coke. Leon Goretzka missed a chance to win it with a header shortly after, but Darmstadt were given hope when Kehrer was sent off after receiving a second yellow card. They left it late to take advantage when Gondorf smashed the ball home at the back post after a melee in the penalty area.
Darmstadt’s best moments this season have come on home turf, and at least they gave their fans something to cheer about when all seemed lost. The cards are still stacked against them with a trip to Hamburg on Matchday 30 to come, but they showed commendable spirit to earn just their fifth win of the campaign.
Man of the Match
Esser has been one of the bright points for Darmstadt this season, and while Burgstaller’s penalty was near the middle of the goal, the Lilies’ stopper kept his wits about him under huge pressure to keep his goal intact.
- Darmstadt scored for the second match in a row for the first time since matchdays seven and eight.Schalke have only converted seven of their last 14 penalties.It was Darmstadt’s first win over Schalke in nine competitive meetings.
Darmstadt: Esser - Sirigu (Fedetskyy h-t), Banggaard, Sulu, Holland - Hamit Altintop, Kamavuaka (Schipplock 77')- Gondorf, Vrancic, Heller - Platte (Rosenthal 66')
Coach: Torsten Frings
Schalke: Fährmann - Coke, Kehrer, Badstuber, Aogo - Goretzka, Geis (Bentaleb 67') - D. Caligiuri (Schöpf 81'), M. Meyer, Avdijaj (Di Santo 55') - G. Burgstaller
Coach: Markus Weinzierl