The first half of this match at the Olympiastadion went very much as expected. Schalke are showing their class over the second division side Duisburg in the final of the DFB-Pokal.
After the first ten minutes with both sides trying to get comfortable on the pitch, Schalke would begin to push forward to test the Duisburg defense. It would be Schalke defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos that would first test David Yelldell in goal for Duisburg. The Greek would get his head on a ball in the box that was headed for the top corner. Yelldell was able to deflect it away at the last second. It was a fantastic save for the American international to keep his side from going down early.
Minutes later, Jefferson Farfan would play a ball in the box to Julian Draxler. The young Schalke midfielder would deflect the ball up to himself and unleash a gorgeous shot that Yelldell had no chance at saving. The Schalke fans in attendance would erupt with joy with the feeling that this was the first of many to come today.
In the 22nd minute, Farfan would play another inch perfect pass into the box that Klaas-Jan Huntelaar would run on to and touch into the near post just beyond the reach of Yelldell. Just after 22 minutes it appeared that Schalke was on their way.
As the half wore on, Duisburg finally appeared to be getting their feet underneath them. They were able to venture deep into the Schalke side of the field several times, but they were unable to find that final pass to get the goal. None of the shots by that Manuel Neuer faced were good enough to beat him.
Then just before halftime, Benedikt Höwedes would smash home a wide open header on a corner from Farfan. The marking on this goal was just completely unacceptable for a team with any hope of winning a cup.
With a 3-0 halftime lead, Schalke appear to be on their way to winning the 2011 DFB-Pokal and the 2011-2012 Europa League.