presented by
Not to be

FCB U-19s fall to Schalke in championship final

The FC Bayern senior youth side won the German U-19 championship in 2001, 2002 and 2004, but narrowly came up short of a fourth triumph on Sunday in a 2-1 defeat to the Schalke U-19s. In a r-run of the 2006 final, coach Kurt Niedermayer’s final match in charge was unfortunately not a victory, as a first defeat of the year 2012 left FCB with the unwanted runners-up spot for the fourth time overall.

The 13,000 crowd at the Stimberg Stadium in Oer-Erkenschwick, including in their number Bayern head coach Jupp Heynckes, saw Alessandro Schöpf break the deadlock for FCB after 59 tight minutes of play, but a physically strong Schalker turned the result on its head through René Klingenburg (67) and Philipp Hofmann (73), as the Royal Blues claimed the U-19 title for the third time in all.

Niedermayer made no changes to the side which drew 1-1 away to Hertha Berlin last week, a result which sealed Bayern’s passage to the final. Schalke were also at full strength, and the first half was an even contest between the winners of the U-19 Bundesliga West and the South/South-West section.

Neither side was prepared to take risks at the start and nerves were clearly in evidence too. FCB were the more accomplished technically and attempted to gain ground with a pass and move game, but for all Bayern’ dominance fo the ball, chances were few and far between to start with.

Long-range efforts

After the cautious opening quarter of an hour, Schalke’s Kolasinac and Baus fired wide from long range, before FCB’s Friesenbichler angled a drive wide midway through the half. The defences held the upper hand for long spells, before Schöpf unleashed a swerving 25-yard blaster and Sallahi drew a save from home keeper Raeder. On the stroke of half-time, Friesenbichler ran onto Rothenbücher’s long pass but put the best chance of the half wide of the target.