Schalke held by Maribor


Schalke and Maribor each picked up their second 1-1 draw of the current Champions League campaign at the Arena AufSchalke on Tuesday night. The Slovenian side were good value for the lead Damjan Bohar gave them in the 37th minute after surviving an early Schalke onslaught. But they could only hold on to their lead until 10 minutes into the second half, when Klaas Jan Huntelaar levelled matters, and a draw was a fair result in Gelsenkirchen. Julian Draxler was back in the Schalke team for the Group G clash after missing their last two Bundesliga games due to suspension, and he appeared keen to make an immediate impression with two early testers for Jasmin Handanovic. Huntelaar also tested the Slovenian goalkeeper during a bright opening from the hosts, boosted by back-to-back Bundesliga wins. Maribor were not just making up the numbers, though, and after clearing a corner, Bohar took an audacious attempt at lobbing Ralf Fahrmann from inside his own half, succeeding in beating the Schalke goalkeeper with the ball landing, however, on the roof of the net. Kevin-Prince Boateng headed Schalke's next good chance wide before the visitors silenced the stadium by taking a 37th-minute lead. Mitja Viler played an intelligent cross slightly back towards the edge of the area when everybody was expecting him to flash the ball across the goal, and his pass was perfect for Bohar to place his shot into a practically unguarded goal. Draxler tried to inspire a response from the Royal Blues but Maribor were tactically immaculate, defending well and waiting to hit their hosts on the break. They lost their concentration once, though, with Viler playing a pass across the edge of his own penalty area and Huntelaar accepting the gift. The Dutchman intercepted before sweeping in a low shot which Draxler had to jump out of the way of on its way in. Schalke picked up the pace again, with Draxler fizzing in a shot which Handanovic saved, but it was Maribor substitute Sintayehu Sallalich who squandered the best chance late on with a shot wide of the post when he had two players up in support.