Galatasaray recovered from a goal down in Germany to stun Schalke and move into the last eight of the Champions League with a 3-2 victory on Tuesday night to give them a 4-3 aggregate win.
After Roman Neustadter put Schalke ahead in the tie, Hamit Altintop and Burak Yilmaz scored in the latter stages of the first half to put the visitors in front and leaving the Bundesliga outfit needing to score twice to progress. Michel Bastos leveled the tie at 3-3, but as Schalke poured forward in search of the strike needed to go through on away goals, Umut Bulut scored deep into injury time.
With Schalke having got the away goal in Istanbul three weeks ago, it was they who were favorites to progress, especially having picked up their form with three straight wins in the league. But it is Galatasaray that progress into the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time in 12 years. That, the Turkish champions will feel, justifies their January investment in big-name stars Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba.
The odds looked stacked against Fatih Terim’s side, though, when Schalke went in front on 17 minutes.
From Jefferson Farfan’s corner, Bendikt Howedes saw his header blocked by a defender, but Joel Matip got to the ball ahead of Fernando Mulera and Neustadter was on hand to slam the ball into the net from eight yards.
But in a five-minute spell late in the opening period, Galatasaray wrestled the tie firmly back in their favor. On 37 minutes Altintop set Galatasaray going with an outrageous effort.
Selcuk Inan took a short free-lick to line up Altintop for what appeared an ambitious effort, but the Turkey international met the ball with a stunning strike to send the ball swerving away from Timo Hildebrand and in off the post.
With Schalke still reeling from that blow, Galatasaray struck on the break to go 2-1 ahead.
Albert Riera went into a challenge after a slack Schalke pass across the pitch and the ball ballooned forward catching out the German’s defense and allowing Burak to break free into the area. After holding off the challenge from Howedes, Burak got there just in front of Hildebrand to clip the shot over the goalkeeper and send it bouncing into the net for his eighth goal in the competition.
Schalke came back into the match, though, and Teemu Pukki, deputizing for the injured Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, forced a fine save from Muslera. When Bastos pulled Schalke level in the 63rd minute, the match looked primed for a thrilling climax.
After Marco Hoger had struck the crossbar, Pukki won the ball in a challenge with Muslera and Uchida calmly laid the ball across to the Brazilian to finish high into the net from eight yards out.
But Schalke could not find the third goal they needed and in the fifth minute of injury time, Selcuk broke upfield and exposed the vacant Schalke defense with a ball through to Umut. The forward’s first effort was poor and blocked by Hilderband but the ball came straight back to him and he slotted it into the empty net to cue wild celebrations from Galatasaray players and staff.