Schalke overcome Basel to enter round of 16
Berlin: Julian Draxler and Joel Matip have ensured Schalke`s 2-0 win over Basel to seal round of last 16 spot from Group E in the Champions league.
The "Royal Blues" finished in second place in the group as they reaped a victory within six minutes over 10-men Basel in an all- or-nothing game, reports Xinhua.
Basel were able to hold the pace with the German until the 32nd minute when Ivan Ivanov committed a professional foul to see a straight red card. However, Schalke needed two-second half goal to smooth next round of Europe`s elite division.
The visitors controlled the opening period but things changed as soon as Schalke gained a foothold into the match. Youngster Max Meyer and Jefferson Farfan worked out Schalke`s first chances.
However, the straight red card for Basel remained the only highlight of the first half as Ivan Ivanov brought down Adam Szalai at the edge of the box with 32 minutes into the game. Farfan came close before Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer denied Julian Draxler`s shot on target.
Schalke broke the deadlock with their first chance after the restart when Draxler volleyed home a pinpoint cross by Jefferson Farfan in the 51st minute.
Joel Matip killed the game only six minutes later as he tapped in a free kick cross by Farfan to double the lead.
Nonetheless, Basel tried to fight back as Schalke squandered chance after chance.
"We have reached the knockout stage. This was extremely important," Schalke coach Jens Keller said.