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FOOTBALL

Schalke makes last 16 in Champions League with win over Lyon

Schalke 04 booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with an impressive 3-0 win over Lyon on Wednesday night as they shook off their poor Bundesliga form to top Group B.

Schalke makes last 16 in Champions League with win over Lyon
Photo: DPA

Although they are 15th in the Bundesliga, Schalke are now top of their group with three wins and 10 points ahead of their last game against Benfica on December 12.

“It’s a nice feeling, because for weeks we have been written off, but now we will play in the knockout stage,” said coach Felix Magath. “We played really well, especially in the first 30 minutes. This suggests that we have found our form again and now we need to re-focus on the Bundesliga.”

After his team beat Werder Bremen 4-0 in the Bundesliga last Saturday, Magath said his side look to have finally turned the corner after a disastrous start in the German league.

“The opening period (against Lyon) pleased me the most – we took control of the game from the start,” he said. “We have some stability now and the results speak for themselves that we are improving.”

Despite the defeat, Lyon will also go through to the last 16 as Benfica lost to Israeli side Hapoel Tel-Aviv in Israel and have a worse head-to-head record against the French side.

“The fact we have qualified is overshadowed by our performance,” said Lyon coach Claude Puel. “We were disappointing tonight and qualification does not hide our bad performance.”

Schalke took control of the game from the whistle and raced into a 2-0 lead after just 20 minutes thanks to goals by Jefferson Farfan and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, before the Dutchman completed the rout with an 89th-minute goal.

The Royal Blues went ahead when a surge into the box by Spanish striker Raul – who scored a hat-trick in the hammering of Bremen – fed Farfan and the Peru star fired home from 12 yards out.

With the hosts attacking in waves, Huntelaar netted his 10th goal of the season for Schalke in all competitions since his transfer from AC Milan when he was fed on the edge of the area and rifled his shot in on 20 minutes.

Farfan was booked for diving over Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris on 30 minutes as Schalke screamed for a penalty and Huntelaar fired over just before the half-time break.

Having already lost captain and central defender Cris for the trip to Gelsenkirchen with damaged knee ligaments, Lyon also look to have lost Yoann Gourcuff for a few weeks as the midfielder was stretchered off on 58 minutes.

Huntelaar added his second of the game in the dying stages when a long ball from the right flank found him in the penalty area and he held off two defenders before beating Lloris with a deflected shot.

AFP/ka

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FOOTBALL

British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

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