UEFA Champions League: Galatasaray stun Schalke 04 with a 3-2 win

Reuters, GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 - Page 20

Hamit Altintop scored a stunning long-range goal to set Galatasaray on the way to a 3-2 win at Schalke 04 on Tuesday, which sent them into the Champions League quarter-finals.

The Turkish side went through 4-3 on aggregate after handing Schalke their first defeat of the competition.

“We definitely deserved it. We made a lot of mistakes in the second half and dropped back, and they made it difficult,” Galatasaray’s Wesley Sneijder said.

“We wanted to go for the third, but we didn’t do it and they kept pushing [until we scored a third late on]. I think Schalke played well, but with all our team spirit, it’s a deserved victory,” he said.

Roman Neustaedter gave Schalke an early lead, but former Schalke man Altintop pulled the Turkish side level in the 37th minute when he collected a free-kick, and scored with a shot which swerved away from Timo Hildebrand and went in off the post.

Burak Yilmaz stunned the hosts by putting Galatasaray ahead with a breakaway goal five minutes later, his eighth of the competition.

Michel Bastos leveled for Schalke 04 just after the hour, but the Germans could not find the winner despite dominating the closing stages, with Umut Bulut snatching a win for Galatasaray in injury-time.

Galatasaray started well, with forward Didier Drogba shooting wide from outside the area in the fifth minute, and he then saw a fierce left-foot effort palmed away by Hildebrand after Sneijder slipped the ball to him on the left.

Hildebrand also did well to stop Selcuk Inan’s shot from a narrow angle.

Schalke’s opener came against the run of play when Neustaedter fired home from close-range after Galatasaray failed to clear a corner in the 17th minute.

However, the visitors continued to enjoy more possession and turned the game around in a dramatic five-minute spell.

Altintop leveled with his first goal for the club and soon afterwards a Schalke attack broke down, Albert Riera slid in and his long clearance found Yilmaz, who outmuscled Benedikt Hoewedes and flicked the ball past Hildebrand.

Galatasaray chose to sit on their lead after halftime, but the tactic backfired because they were penned into their half.

Teemu Pukki had a shot saved by Fernando Muslera at the foot of the post, Julian Draxler nearly scored after beating four defenders in a weaving run and Marco Hoeger smashed a shot against the crossbar as Schalke took control.

Michel Bastos finally leveled in the 64th minute, following another scramble in the Galatasaray area.

Muslera denied Draxler with a stunning reflex save as Schalke poured forward and Galatasaray made their progression safe late on after a breakaway.