Galatasaray, spearheaded by Didier Drogba, struck twice
before half-time and survived a second-half barrage to oust Schalke 04 on
Tuesday, denying Germany a full house in the Champions League
a superb swerving strike by Hamit Altintop against his old club, the
Turkish side dominated the first half, held on for grim life in the
second and snatched the last 16 second leg 3-2 with a stoppage-time goal
on the break against bewildered opponents.
4-3 aggregate win justified their decision to splash out on big-name
signings Wesley Sneijder and Drogba in January while Schalke became the
first German side to exit the Champions League proper this term.
Borussia Dortmund already through and Bayern Munich set to clinch a
last-eight place on Wednesday when they host Arsenal with a 3-1 lead in
the bag, Germany's three teams had been in imperious form, losing only
one match between them before Tuesday.
incredibly disappointing for us," said team captain Benedikt Howedes,
whose team are fourth in the Bundesliga and face a battle to qualify for
the Champions League next season.
Coast forward Drogba, who missed a penalty in a league defeat against
Genclerbirligi on Friday, was hugely influential on his favourite
Champions League stage after his short stint in Chinese football.
35-year-old triumphed in last season's competition with Chelsea after
scoring a late equaliser in the final against Bayern and netting the
winning spot-kick in the shootout.
looks hungry for more success but Galatasaray's progression to the
quarters for the first time since 2001 seemed unlikely when Roman
Neustadter gave Schalke a 17th-minute lead completely against the run
It was wiped out by
Altintop's effort in the 37th minute when he collected a free-kick and
scored with a 30-metre shot which swerved away from Timo Hildebrand and
went in off the foot of the post.
was Altintop's first goal since he joined Galatasaray from Real Madrid
during the close season and came against the club where he spent four
Burak Yilmaz then
put Galatasaray ahead with a breakaway goal five minutes later, making
him the competition's joint top scorer with Cristiano Ronaldo on eight
"We completely went to
sleep in the first half," said Schalke 04 coach Jens Keller, whose team
had been boosted by a 2-1 win over bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund on
Saturday. "We didn't get into the game."
The second half was completely different as Galatasaray sat on their lead and Schalke poured forward.
dominance was rewarded when Brazilian Michel Bastos levelled just after
the hour but, despite continuing to press forward, they could not find a
winner and instead lost to Umut Bulut's 94th minute breakaway effort.
contribution began when he nearly scored from outside the area in the
fifth minute and then saw a fierce left-foot effort palmed away by
Hildebrand one minute later.
signed from Inter Milan, was less impressive although the Dutch
playmaker nearly scored with a first-time side-footed effort from the
edge of the box.
definitely deserved it. We made a lot of mistakes in the second half and
dropped back and they made it difficult," Sneijder told reporters.
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."
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