2-2 draw for Schalke against Montpellier

The Champions League took a turn for Schalke 04 after they drew against ten-man Montpellier on Wednesday night. A 90th-minute equaliser from striker Souleymane Camara gave the French team a unexpected point.

2-2 draw for Schalke against Montpellier
Photo: DPA

Schalke were 2-1 up and cruising to their second Champions League win of the season when Senegal international Camara stunned the Veltins Arena crowd with a curling effort round Royal Blues goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall.

“We dominated the game, but at the moment we just can’t decide games. That hurts,” fumed Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes after the final whistle while goal-scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar agreed: “We played with too much fear”.

“I do not know if this is justice, but in any case it’s nice to get a point,” said Camara.

“It was a great game against a great team, but now we have to keep improving.

“The red card (offence) wasn’t obvious, but we did not give up and kept working. I am happy for the team and myself, we deserved it.”

His equaliser earned his team their first Champions League point and leaves Arsenal top of Group B on six points after their 2-1 win over Olympiakos.

Montpellier’s Morocco forward Karim Ait-Fana had given his side an early lead, but Schalke teenager Julia Draxler equalised – he only turned 19 at the beginning of last month and became the youngest ever German scorer in Champions League history.

The game turned Schalke’s way in the 52nd minute with the score locked at 1-1 when Garry Bocaly felled Draxler in the area and Russian referee Sergey Karasev showed no hesitation in awarding a penalty and showing a red card.

Draxler had to be taken off in obvious discomfort after landing heavily on his arm and Holland striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar slammed the penalty into the bottom left hand corner to put the hosts ahead for the first time.

Ait-Fana had given the visitors the initiative when he curled in a goal from distance with only 13 minutes gone.

But Draxler, who has been on the fringes of the Germany team, levelled.

Huntelaar’s pass split the defence to put Draxler into space and the teenager darted around Montpellier goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren before he slotted home.

The hosts started to exert their authority and despite a split share of possession finished with 19 shots on goal compared to the French team’s four.

Huntelaar, Schalke’s Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Finland striker Teemu Pukki all had chances to score as Montpellier began to tire.

The Dutch striker, the Bundesliga’s top scorer last season, squandered a golden chance to score the Royal Blues third with 88 minutes gone when he fired just wide seconds before Camara finished off the decisive counter-attack.

“You could say that we dropped two points, but we have four points under our belt already and we just need to keep going strong,” said Schalke coach Huub Stevens.

Schalke face a tough tie in London at Arsenal on October 24, the same night Montpellier host Olympiakos.


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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.