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Oct, 1, 2012

Dusseldorf coach hails striker Schahin

Despite conceding their first goals of the season against Schalke on Friday, Fortuna Dusseldorf continued their unbeaten run in front of a sellout crowd at the Dusseldorf Arena.

Dusseldorf coach Norbert Meier was delighted after his team came back from two goals down, with forward Dani Schahin scoring his second brace of the season. "That is fantastic for him," Meier said. "He is a threat in front of goal - that characterises him."

After 13 minutes, Netherlands international Klaas-Jan Huntelaar put an end to Dusseldorf's 462 minutes without conceding a goal, and Joel Matip doubled the lead after 20 minutes.

But Schalke were not able to hold on to their advantage, with Schahin pulling one back soon after half time before finishing a Levels cross with a header after 70 minutes.

"What we experienced today is just incredible", Dusseldorf goalkeeper Fabian Giefer said after the match.

In contrast, Schalke's angry director of football Horst Heldt said: "I have never experienced something like that. It hurts more than a defeat against Bayern. We had the opponent on the ground and have thrown away the match.

"In the second half we all failed - from those who were on the pitch to the bus driver."

Dusseldorf had been criticised by some for a defensive approach, scoring only four goals in five matches before the Schalke game, but Schahin said: "We might not be on the same level as the top clubs like Schalke. But we can run, fight and score goals."

The 23-year-old has now scored four goals this season and added: "I never dreamt that things would turn out that way after my move to Dusseldorf. I am happy to help the team with my goals."

Coach Meier also hailed Giefer, who made several important saves as his side took a point in front of their first 50,000 crowd.

Meier said: "I usually suffer from tunnel vision during the match. But today [the atmosphere] gave me goosebumps - I have not experienced this in my years in coaching. It's incredible what happened here today."

Six matches into the season, Dusseldorf have ten points, with two wins and four draws, and continue their attempts to stay unbeaten when they travel to Mainz on Saturday.

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