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FOOTBALL

Fuchs strike fires Schalke into next round

Schalke 04 booked their place in the Champions League's last 16 on Wednesday as a late strike from defender Christian Fuchs sealed their 1-0 home win over Olympiakos.

Fuchs strike fires Schalke into next round
Photo: DPA

While Arsenal threatened to usurp Schalke as Group B leaders with a 2-0 win in London over Montpellier, Austria left-back Fuchs struck with a thunderbolt of a goal just 13 minutes from time to keep the Royal Blues top of the table.

Victory puts Schalke into the knock-out phase, but they will need to beat Montpellier away in a fortnight to be sure of finishing as group winners as they join fellow German teams Dortmund and Bayern Munich in the last 16.

“When you reach the knock-out stage before the last group game, you have to be satisfied,” said Schalke’s Dutch coach Huub Stevens.

“The team produced a characteristically strong performance.

“We can’t really be happy with the way we played, but for the club it was vital to reach the knock-out phase for financial reasons.

“I wouldn’t mind if we go on to win the group.”

Schalke deserved the win having battered the Olympiakos goal with 27 attempts, 17 on target, compared to the Greeks’ six shots as the visitors’ goalkeeper Roy Carroll had a busy night.

“We played a solid game, but in the second we didn’t start that well and they created dangerous opportunities,” said Olympiakos coach Leonardo Jardim.

“We failed in our objective of reaching the knock-out phase, but at least we are in the Europa League now.”

Olympiakos came to Germany in buoyant mood with seven wins in an eight-game unbeaten run, but they had no answers at the Veltins Arena.

 

“It was tough work today but we deserved to win as we clearly dominated the opposition,” said Schalke captain Benedikt Höwedes. “We had a few opportunities and fortunately we managed to score one of them.”

Schalke had the best early chance when Fuchs looped his free-kick over the wall, but Olympiakos goalkeeper Carroll threw himself to his left to push the ball out for a corner on 24 minutes.

Draxler fired over just before half-time, while Olympiakos’ best chance came with half an hour gone when Djamel Abdoun failed to use the four-on-two situation and his pass flew over the head of Giannis Maniatis.

Schalke kept up the pace in the second-half with both midfielders Jermaine Jones, Lewis Holtby and defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos going close against his compatriots.

The winning goal came on 77 minutes when Jermaine Jones passed across to Fuchs, who claimed his first Champions League goal with a long-range strike.

He powered onto the ball and drove it across the face of the Olympiakos goal from 35 metres out to give Carroll no chance as the Greeks left Germany empty-handed.

AFP/jcw

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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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