Huntelaar the star for Schalke
Germans stage fantastic comeback to knock out McClaren's men
Last Updated: March 15, 2012 10:59pm
Huntelaar: Hat-trick hero
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored a hat-trick as Schalke pulled off a superb comeback to beat FC Twente 4-1 in the second leg of their Europa League tie and make it through to the quarter-finals.
Steve McClaren's Dutch side led 1-0 from the first leg and an early away goal from Willem Janssen left Schalke needing to score three times to progress in the competition, but they stormed back in style to secure a 4-2 aggregate success.
Huntelaar struck a 29th minute equaliser against his compatriots, and Schalke dominated the second period as they completed their emphatic comeback.
The Germans had started in audacious fashion with Christian Fuchs attempting a long-range effort with just 27 seconds on the clock which flew just wide of Nikolay Mihailov's goal.
Schalke made an impressive start with Jermaine Jones seeing a 25-yard effort blocked in the box and his follow-up saved by Mihailov in the seventh minute.
Mihailov fumbled a Jefferson Farfan corner and at that point it looked like a goal would not be long in coming, but when it finally arrived in the 13th minute it was Janssen who fired home from 18 yards.
Jones fired wide from long range on 20 minutes as the Germans sought a way back into the tie, then Huntelaar had his first chance with a header from a Farfan cross which was caught by Mihailov.
Huntelaar grabbed the opener on 29 minutes when he headed home a Julian Draxler cross, and from that moment Schalke stepped up the pressure by forcing a succession of corners.
Joel Matip headed against the bar from a Christian Fuchs free-kick on 40 minutes, but Twente briefly responded with both Luuk de Jong and Roberto Rosales spurning half-chances in the box.
Huntelaar drew the aggregate score level from the penalty spot on 56 minutes after a handball by Janssen, but Schalke knew they still needed another in order to avoid elimination on away goals.
Huntelaar, Fuchs, Farfan and Draxler all had chances before the crucial third arrived 20 minutes from time, Jones striking home a left-foot shot from 12 yards after being fed by Raul.
Forced to go on the attack, Twente missed a chance through Nacer Chadli but Hunterlaar remained a persistent threat and drew a fine save out of Mihailov in the 76th minute.
Huntelaar completed his hat-trick by blasting into the top of the net eight minutes later, sealing Schalke's come-from-behind victory in style.
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