Gelsenkirchen - FC Schalke 04 came from a goal down to record a 1-1 draw at home to NK Maribor in UEFA Champions League Group G on Tuesday.

Damjan Bohar gave the Slovenian champions a shock lead late in the first half, before Klaas-Jan Huntelaar hit back early in the second to secure Jens Keller's men a deserved share of the spoils.

Slovenian sucker punch

Schalke started the game at an intense pace, giving Maribor no time to settle on the ball. Dennis Aogo's dipping free kick after four minutes wasn't far off target, before Huntelaar and Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting spurned half-decent chances. Having threatened very little, Maribor came close to opening the scoring on 12 minutes in unlikely circumstances. Dare Vrsic spotted Ralf Fährmann off his line during a nascent counter-attack, electing to attempt an audacious lob from inside his own half which only narrowly missed the target.

After the initial flurry of openings, Maribor began to settle a little and make things more difficult for the hosts. And they weren't content with just defending, either. With 38 minutes in the clock, Vrsic, in plenty of space on the left, picked out Bohar with a pinpoint low cross and the right-winger finished powerfully to put Maribor 1-0 up. Stunned, Schalke then allowed their guests another two chances in quick succession, with Vrsic firing a half-volley over before Ibrahimi drew a save from Fährmann.

Huntelaar hits back

Schalke dominated possession in the early stages of the second half without causing too many problems. The nearest they came to an opening was when another Aogo free-kick rebounded to the returning Julian Draxler, whose follow-up effort flew over the bar. Maribor were to give the Royal Blues a big helping hand ten minutes after the restart, however, when goalscorer Bohar played a blind ball across his own box, with Huntelaar pouncing and firing low into the bottom left corner to level.

The Royal Blues were now in the ascendancy and almost went in front two minutes later. Half-time substitute Atsuto Uchida provided a cross for Draxler, but his low drive was expertly saved by Jasmin Handanovic. Kevin Prince-Boateng then slid a precisely weighted ball through for Huntelaar but the Dutch striker shot wide. As the game drew to a close Schalke continued to push for that crucial second goal, but they couldn't fashion a clear opening and had to settle for a 1-1 draw, just as they did at Chelsea FC a fortnight ago. They are now third in Group G, two points behind leaders Chelsea with Sporting Lisbon their next opponents on 21 October.


Fährmann - Ayhan (Uchida 46'), Neustädter, Matip, Fuchs - K.-P. Boateng (Meyer 79'), Aogo - Choupo-Moting (Obasi 66'), Barnetta, Draxler - Huntelaar

Maribor: J. Handanovic - Mejac, Rajcevic, Suler, Viler - Mertelj (Ndiaye 80'), Z. Filipovic - Bohar, Vrsic (Mendy 67') - Marcos Tavares, Ibrahimi

Goals: 0-1 (Bohar 38'), 1-1 (Huntelaar 56')