STUTTGART, GERMANY – Shinji Okazaki came off the bench to fire a stunning 89th-minute goal and complete a 3-0 win for Stuttgart over Atsuto Uchida’s Schalke in its Bundesliga season opener on Saturday.
The Japan striker, who entered the fray with 11 minutes left, took a long cross-field pass down on his right foot and cut inside his marker before uncorking a superb left-footed drive that flew past Schalke keeper Ralf Farhmann and into the far corner.
Goals in each half from Cacau had Martin Harnik had given Stuttgart a 2-0 lead.
“I knew a chance would come my way,” said Okazaki. “I was able to get rid of the frustration of not starting. The coach felt I was not in good condition so I wanted to show him what I can do.”
“I thought I was in good shape so I really wanted to give it my all and that led to the goal,” he said.
Uchida was kept on the bench for Schalke.