Rost the Schalke hero
By Thomas Zeh
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Frank Rost was hailed as the hero in Schalke's win over Werder Bremen.Frank Rost was hailed as the match-winner when Schalke reached the German Cup final at the expense of Werder Bremen as the goalkeeper saved three penalties and scored the decisive one himself during a dramatic 7-6 penalty shoot-out win.
Ebbe Sand scored the opener before Valerien Ismael's late goal assured that the game went into extra time, where Tim Borowski for the visitors and Ailton for the hosts were on target, and the Danish striker was full of praise for his keeper.
"That was an absolute world-class performance from Frank," said Sand.
Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick added: "It was a sensational evening and it's a pity that there had to be one winner as after these 120 minutes both teams would have deserved to get into the final.
"Given all the chances created by both sides it was not only a thrilling, but also a top-class game."
Rost, who saved penalty attempts from Paul Stalteri, Fabian Ernst and Borowski, explained why he pushed youngster Mike Hanke away to take the final shot with which he wrong-footed Bremen keeper Andreas Reinke to send the Royal-Blues into the Berlin final.
"In such a situation you don't want to give this opportunity away," explained Rost, whose team will meet the winner of Wednesday's duel between Arminia Bielefeld and Bayern Munich.
"After saving the penalty kicks I was sure that I'd score and as the skipper I wouldn't allow a 21-year-old to try his luck, although I don't want to doubt Mike's abilities at all."
While the Schalke fans among the 61,000-sell-out crowd at the ArenaAufSchalke celebrated with their heroes, Werder coach Thomas Schaaf was downbeat.
"This was one of these rare games as for the full 120 minutes both teams played with an astonishing tempo, but unfortunately it came to a sad end for us," said Schaaf.
"It's really bitter if you are the one left with empty hands after such a great game and I am very sorry for the team and the many fans who travelled with us."