Champions League: Galatasaray oust Schalke in pulsating five-goal clash
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Galatasaray ,spearheaded by Didier Drogba, struck twice before halftime and survived a second-half barrage to oust Schalke 04 on Tuesday, denying Germany a full house in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Galvanised by a superb swerving strike by Hamit Altintop against his old club, the Turkish side dominated the first half, held on for grim life in the second and snatched the last 16 second leg 3-2 with a stoppage time goal on the break against bewildered opponents.
Their 4-3 aggregate win justified their decision to splash out on big-name signings Wesley Sneijder and Drogba in January while Schalke became the first German side to exit the Champions League proper this term.
With Borussia Dortmund already through and Bayern Munich set to clinch a last-eight place on Wednesday when they host Arsenal with a 3-1 lead in the bag, Germany's three teams had been in imperious form, losing only one match between them before Tuesday.
"It's incredibly disappointing for us," said team captain Benedikt Hoewedes, whose team are fourth in the Bundesliga and face a battle to qualify for the Champions League next season.
Ivory Coast forward Drogba, who missed a penalty in a league defeat against Genclerbirligi on Friday, was hugely influential on his favourite Champions League stage after his short stint in Chinese football.
The 35-year-old triumphed in last season's competition with Chelsea after scoring a late equaliser in the final against Bayern and netting the winning spot kick in the shootout.
He looks hungry for more success but Galatasaray 's progression to the quarters for the first time since 2001 seemed unlikely when Roman Neustaedter gave Schalke a 17th-minute lead completely against the run of play.
It was wiped out by Altintop's effort in the 37th minute when he collected a free kick and scored with a 30-metre shot which swerved away from Timo Hildebrand and went in off the foot of the post.
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