Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Schalke disappoints with a 1-1 draw against PAOK

Schalke 04 only managed a 1-1 draw in their Champions League qualifying match against PAOK.  Despite overwhelming possession in the first half, Schalke only managed a single goal in the 32nd minute by Jefferson Farfan.  PAOK came out in the second half ready to battle and was able to penetrate the Schalke penalty box.   In the 73rd minute the disappointment was there for the Schalke fans when Miroslav Stoch got the equalizer for the Greek.  
It took Schalke sometime in the first half to get their feet and it was also only during the first three minutes that PAOK got three corners.  After that it was all Schalke in the first half, but PAOK was defending resolutely.  When PAOK had possession the ball barely made it across the midway line, with inaccurate passes and lack of good coordination.  However it took Schalke 32 minutes to net the ball for its only goal by halftime. 

In the 32nd minute Szalia received the ball in the penalty area, but had trouble controlling it.  With presence of mind he pushed the ball to his right toward Jefferson Farfan.  He fired at the net with his left foot and pushed it inside the far post for the 1-0 Schalke lead.
 Two minutes earlier, in the 30th minute, Jermain Jones fired over the  net from about 30 meters distance.
PAOK performed better in the second half and were able to break into the Schalke penalty box several times.  In the 73rd minute Miroslav Stoch found some room on the left side and moved into the centre unhindered.  His shot with his right foot moves directly into the far corner of the net.  Timo Hildrebrand had no chance. 

Schalke's troubles continued when Jefferson Farfan was carried off the field in a stretcher and went directly to the dressing room.  He was replaced by Teemu Pukki in the 87th minute.

Unfortunately Schalke did not sew up the game in the first half when they had the chance and PAOK was able to hang on to the draw and goes into the second leg in Greece with the advantage of an away goal.  
Schalke's troubles continue with two Bundesliga and one Champions League match in the books, Schalke has managed 1 loss and two draws.  The Royal Blues have a lot of work ahead of them.
Schalke:  Hildebrand - Howedes, Uchida, Fuchs, Matip - Matip, Meyer Clemens (69th), Draxler - Hoeger (Goretzka) Jones , Farfan (Pukki 87th) - Salai

PAOK:  Jacobo - Miguel Vitor, Lino, Tziolis, Stoch - Lawrence (Kace 60th), Lazar, Katsouranis, Kitsiou, Lucas (Oliseh 90th) - Salpingidis (Athanasiadis 60th)

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