Istanbul - FC Schalke 04 gained a crucial away-goal advantage as Jermaine Jones' equaliser secured a 1-1 draw away to Turkish giants Galatasaray AS in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie in Istanbul.

Burak Yilmaz netted his seventh goal in the competition to put the home team in front early on, but Jones' dynamic run and finish on the stroke of half-time ensured a pulsating encounter finished all square at the Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi.

End-to-end action


Schalke showed they meant business with an early warning shot from Jones, but Galatasaray were no idle sparring partner and gave as good as they got with Yilmaz putting them ahead in the 12th minute. The striker flicked Didier Drogba’s pass over the head of Benedikt Höwedes before smashing it past Timo Hildebrand into the roof of the net to draw level with Real Madrid CF's Cristiano Ronaldo in the competition scoring charts.

The visitors missed the chance to level in the 16th minute as Höwedes went close with a header towards the far corner which begged for the slightest of touches from either Klaas-Jan Huntelaar or Joel Matip at the far post, but neither could oblige. Gala retorted at the other end with Hildebrand saving from Drogba and then looking on in relief as former Royal Blue Hamit Altintop rattled the crossbar with the rebound.

Schalke counter


Kaya Semih nearly turned Jefferson Farfan’s cross into his own net before the Peruvian winger lifted the Royal Blues' next chance over the crossbar. Another mistake from Höwedes at the other end then let in Yilmaz, whose angled shot was touched wide by Hildebrand.

Approaching the interval, Farfan showed a great burst of pace and even better vision as Schalke got their equaliser. The speedy wide-man charged into the box before teeing up Jones, who rifled the ball past Nestor Muslera from just inside the penalty area.

Draxler dangerous


Following a relentless opening period the game lulled somewhat after the restart, but Galatasaray found their second wind in the final quarter with Yilmaz denied in a one on one by both Hildebrand and the linesman’s flag. Schalke, meanwhile, continued to threaten on the counter attack with Draxler setting up Huntelaar to volley over and then attempting to go it alone, only to shoot just wide from outside the area.

At the other end, Yilmaz missed the target and Hildebrand pushed a Sarioglu Sabri effort to safety, but that proved to be the final chance of the night as Schalke secured a promising result in one of Europe's most intimidating arenas.

Line-ups:

Galatasaray: Muslera - Sabri Sarioglu (Bulut 83'), Kaya, Nounkeu, Riera - Melo, Selcuk Inan - Hamit Altintop (Eboue 66'), Sneijder (Amrabat 46') - Burak Yilmaz, Drogba

Schalke: Hildebrand - Höger, Höwedes, Matip, Kolasinac - Jones,
Neustädter - Farfan, Draxler (Barnetta 84'), Bastos - Huntelaar
(Pukki 75')

Goals: 1-0 Yilmaz (12'), 1-1 Jones (45')

Ben Gladwell