FC Schalke 04 were held to a goalless draw by NK Kamen Ingrad in the UEFA Cup first-round first leg match at the ŠRC Kamen Ingrad stadium in Velika.
All to play for
The goalless draw left the tie finely poised ahead of the return leg, although the German side will enjoy home advantage at the Arena AufSchalke on 16 October.
Kamen Ingrad in control
Schalke started the match with an under-strength side, lacking seven first-team regulars, and their Croatian opponents took full advantage, pressing the visitors back in the opening 45 minutes.
However, despite enjoying the majority of the possession, Kamen Ingrad struggled to break down a solid and well-organised defence, although they might have taken the lead on the half-hour through Zoran Zekic, but the Prva Hrvatska Nogometna Liga's top scorer failed to connect properly with a half-volley and Schalke goalkeeper Frank Rost made a comfortable save.
In an entertaining match, the home side continued to push forward in search of goals after half-time, but were unable to find a way through. At the other end, Schalke strikers Gerald Asamoah and Mike Hanke caused problems for the home side's defence, working tirelessly and putting players under pressure.
Hanke goes close
It was Hanke who came closest to scoring a crucial away goal for the visitors in the 73rd minute as the ball broke kindly for him inside the penalty area, but his effort from close range struck a post and rebounded to safety.
Chances at both ends
Both sides continued to attack, and ten minutes from time, Asamoah and substitute Michael Delura both had chances to score inside a crowded Kamen Ingrad penalty area, but the home side were able to scramble clear and counterattacked immediately, as Zekic found Sergej Jakirovic with a crossfield pass, but the midfield player was unable to take advantage.
Neither side was able to make a breakthrough, and the final whistle was greeted by jubilation from the home supporters who were delighted their side had frustrated their illustrious opponents.
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