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FOOTBALL

Nine-man Schalke see off Stuttgart

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Kuranyi (left) and Lincoln celebrate the goal - before both players were sent off

LEIPZIG, Germany -- Schalke won the German League Cup for the first time after defeating Stuttgart 1-0 - despite having two players sent off for unsporting conduct.

German international Kevin Kuranyi, a 7m euro signing from Stuttgart, scored the decisive goal after 10 minutes but then picked up a red card in the 67th minute for kicking out at Silvio Meissner.

Brazilian midfielder Lincoln also spoilt his superb performance late on when he was red-carded for spitting in the direction of Thomas Hitzlsperger.

Lincoln had set Kuranyi up for the winning goal with a vintage back heel after Stuttgart defender Fernando Meira had surrendered possession cheaply.

While Schalke coach Ralf Ragnick will be irritated by the two dismissals, particularly as the suspensions could be carried into the Bundesliga season, he will be delighted to pick up his first trophy since taking over at the start of last season.

For his opposite number Giovanni Trapattoni there appears to be a lot of work to do with the departures of Kuranyi, Alexander Hleb and Philipp Lahm weakening what was already a thin squad.

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