Bordon & Kuranyi Sink Hannover

Schalke 3-0 Hannover

Schalke started off their 2008-2009 Bundesliga campaign with an authoritative showing at home against Hannover 96.

Goals from Marcelo Bordon and Kevin Kuranyi within the first 7 minutes put Schalke in the driver’s seat, and from there onwards, they dominated the match to bring home the points.

Injuries to new signings Jefferson Farfan and Orlando Engelaar appeared to have little impact on Schalke, as replacements Halil Altintop and Levan Kobiashvili proved to be sufficient replacements.

Having allowed three goals on set pieces, today’s match will be a huge wake-up call for Hannover. Coach Dieter Hecking will surely spend time practicing set-piece defense ahead of next week’s home opener against Energie Cottbus.

First Half

In a rousing opening quarter hour, Schalke sent a clear message to all their Bundesliga rivals: Schalke are back and ready to fight for their first title in 50 years.

After just two minutes, Schalke opened the scoring, with Marcelo Bordon heading an Ivan Rakitic corner into the top right corner of the net. But Schalke were far from finished: running at every opportunity, they threatened multiple times before Kevin Kuranyi volleyed home a loose ball following a corner.

Just as Hannover fans thought that things couldn’t get worse, another Schalke corner forced German international goalkeeper Robert Enke to make a great reflex save of a Benedikt Höwedes header.

The first half was not trouble-free for Schalke, however. A 26’ minute Altin Lala foul on Jermaine Jones caused an injury delay, and Jones was replaced just four minutes later by Carlos Grossmüller.

After Jones’ departure, Schalke’s advantage seemed to diminish somewhat, as aggressive Hannover defense broke up the rhythm that the men from Gelsenkirchen had previously enjoyed. With a combination of good defense and tactical fouling, Hannover were able to frustrate the Schalke offense.

Seizing on their opportunity, Hannover nearly pulled one back on 40 minutes as a perfect ball went in to Szabolcs Huszti, who who was unable to convert from close range. Just a minute later, new signing Jan Schlaudraff dribbled past Höwedes into the box and drilled a shot just over the bar.

Frustration on both sides resulted in a rather needless confrontation on 42 minutes when Hanno Balitsch won a free kick and pushed aside both Kobiashvili and Rakitic in order to take the kick quickly. The confrontation earned yellow cards for Balitsch and, surprisingly, Rakitic.

Second Half

After a slow opening ten minutes to the second half that could have resulted in more interesting play if not for Kuranyi being called offside several times, Hannover suddenly breathed life once more. Following a cross, Balitsch headed on goal, only to be denied by Schober, who was in perfect position. Just seconds later, Schlaudraff was clear at the top of the box and fired a first-touch low drive that was saved well by Schober.

Schalke were not on their heels for long, however, as Kuranyi nailed a long header towards the left post, only to be denied by Lala, who cleared the ball of the line. Just two minutes later, Kuranyi led the break, but kept the ball too long as his cross to the center was cleared away. Kuranyi was not to be denied, however, as Vinicius left him free to head home a Rakitic free kick on 63’.

Just three minutes later, Hanke had the opportunity for a consolation goal, but his clear volley from 8 yards out was well over the bar. After this time, it was clear that Schalke were content to rest on their lead. Hannover certainly appeared discouraged, but produced occasional spurts of promise.

On 79’, an Arnold Bruggink shot was pushed just wide of the right post. The resulting corner also came close to producing a goal as Mario Eggiman headed just wide to the left. In the dying minutes, Huszti drilled a shot from just outside the left of the penalty area, only to be denied by the crossbar. Seconds later, a Bruggink shot from just outside the right side of the box was well saved by Schober.

From Schalke, the closing minutes produced a few opportunities, including a set piece from just outside the penalty area that looked strangely reminiscent of the area from which Christian Pander converted the game winner against Atletico Madrid just three days ago. This time, however, Pander’s effort was too high. Pander nearly made up for his miss on 85 minutes as he sent in a low cross that Enke did well to save. Pander’s efforts were unnecessary, however, as the damage had already been done, and Schalke made a great first step towards their first Bundesliga title in 50 years.


1-0 Bordon (2’)
2-0 Kuranyi (7’)
3-0 Kuranyi (64’)

Schalke: Schober – Westermann, Höwedes, Bordon, Pander – Kobiashvili, Jones (Grossmüller, 30’), Ernst, Kobiashvili, Rakitic (Asamoah, 68’) – Altintop, Kuranyi (Sanchez, 79’)

Hannover: Enke – Cherundolo, Vinicius, Ismael (Eggiman, 61’), Schulz – Bruggink, Lala, Balitsch (Rosenthal, 61’), Huszti – Schlaudraff (Forssell 65’), Hanke

Yellow Cards:

Rakitic (43’) / Lala (26’), Balitsch (43’)

Kuranyi scored two goals to ensure Schalke have their opening game win.

2′ [1 - 0] M.J. Bordon

7′ [2 - 0] K. Kuranyi

64′ [3 - 0] K. Kuranyi

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Bordon & Kuranyi Sink Hannover Reviewed by admin Ucop on 6:11 PM Rating: 5

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