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FOOTBALL

Teen rising star shoots Schalke into semis

Teenage super-sub Julian Draxler on Tuesday put Schalke 04 into the semi-finals of the German Cup after scoring an extra-time winner to seal a 3-2 victory over Nuremberg, just minutes after coming off the bench.

Teen rising star shoots Schalke into semis
Photo: DPA

The Germany Under-18 midfielder, making only his third Schalke appearance, came off the bench in the 116th minute of the quarter-final and three minutes later scored from the edge of the penalty area for a fairytale finish.

“It is hard to describe how this feels, I was only just on the pitch for the last five minutes and I never dreamed this would happen,” said the stunned teenager.

“I have tomorrow off, so I’ll be going to visit some of my school friends to see what they make of this. It would be unbelievable to play in the final in Berlin now.”

Draxler only signed a professional contract earlier this month having caught the eye during Schalke’s training camp.

He played his first German league match against Hamburg ten days ago to become the youngest Schalke player to play in the Bundesliga, aged 17 years and 117 days.

Holders Bayern Munich are in action on Wednesday at second division side Alemannia Aachen, but Tuesday’s quarter-final belonged to Draxler who broke Nuremberg’s hearts with virtually the last kick of the game.

The Royal Blues, who won the last of their four German Cups in 2002, twice came from behind to level the scores with half an hour remaining of normal time, but Nuremberg, who won the cup in 2007, never gave up.

The visitors took the lead when striker Julian Schieber put his side ahead with less than five minutes gone.

Schalke, who have reached the last 16 of the Champions League, equalised at the Veltins Arena when Germany defender Christian Pander set up Swiss striker Mario Gavranovic on 14 minutes.

Schieber struck again with a bullet-like shot which gave Schalke’s Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer no chance on 32 minutes when he converted a cross in spectacular fashion.

But the Royal Blues showed the fighting spirit which have seen them get to the knock-out stages of European football’s top domestic competition with a superb equaliser this time from Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic on 58 minutes.

Neither side could break the dead-lock and the game went into extra-time before Draxler scored the winner.

AFP/djw

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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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