Gelsenkirchen - Having come from a goal behind to lead 2-1 against ten-man Montpellier HSC with the clock fast running down, FC Schalke 04 were on the brink of making a perfect two-game start to their UEFA Champions League campaign on Wednesday evening.

However, another moment of defensive complacency proved costly for Huub Stevens' side as the reigning French champions leveled the scores on the stroke of full-time, courtesy of Souleymane Camara's 90th minute strike. "We're incredibly disappointed to only finish up with a draw," Greek centre-back admitted after the match. "We didn't take our chances. In a match like this, it's doubly as painful to concede a goal in the final minute."

Two points lost


Based on the reactions of Schalke's players at the sound of the final whistle a neutral would have been forgiven for thinking they had just lost. "We controlled the match for long periods, but didn't close out the game. That annoys me," said head coach Huub Stevens. "Things aren't running smoothly for us in front of goal right now. Then we conceded the 2-2 - the kind of goal that should never be conceded." Failing to cash in on their extra man over the final 35 minutes left the Schalke players hanging their heads, whilst adding fuel to the spreading discontent among the home fans.

The chances to put the game to bed were there to be had for Schalke, but "we helped initiate the equaliser by not finishing off an attack of our own just beforehand," Stevens noted. However, the fans frustration stems less from an absence of creativity than from their side's apparent lack of a killer instinct at the moment - and knowing the team are capable of much more. "We gave away two points and that's incredibly frustrating," said left back Christian Fuchs. "It's great that we managed to come from a goal behind, but we completely missed the mark when it came to killing off the game."

Adding injury to insult


The man who shoulders the greatest responsibility in the goalscoring department is Dutch striker , whose 89th-minute miss when he was one-on-one with the keeper proved exceedingly costly after the spirited visitors went on to equalise. "It was a great chance. But I still think we should have created more chances considering we had a man advantage," said the forward, who scored 48 goals in all competitions for the Royal Blues last season. "After we went 2-1 up we didn't push forward as much as we needed to and as a result we didn't carve out enough opportunities."

To rub further salt in the wounds, 19-year-old attacking midfielder has been ruled out for between 3-4 weeks after breaking a bone in his left forearm on Wednesday. A more pressing concern for Stevens is that his side have let leads slip in consecutive matches. "We didn't look good as a team at that point," explained Roman Neustädter. Instead of taking six points from their first two Champions League matches, "we've now got four," continued the former Gladbach midfielder: "Everyone of us will have a sleepless night."

James Thorogood