Shakhtar grab draw
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Schalke are favourites to progress to the next phase of the Uefa Cup after registering a 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.
The Germain giants, currently joint top of Die Bundesliga went ahead early when Brazilian Ailton pounced after just seven minutes, but just as Schalke looked set for victory - one of Shakthar's own Samba stars Brandao levelled.
Ailton's strike was virtually the first real chance of the game and he showed all his class in firing home. The former Werder Bremen star collected the ball on the left after a flick from Ebbe Sand and without any hesitation fired past the highly-rated Jan Lastruvka in Shakhtar's goal.
Shakhtar pushed forward looking for the equaliser and both Julius Aghahowa and Brandao went close, but nothing came before the break.
Into the second period and the Ukrainians brought on new Brazilian recruits Jadson and Elano Blumer, and together with fellow countrymen Brandao and Matuzalem, they began to play some enchanting football.
A well drilled German back-line looked set to keep Shakhtar at bay, but with just four minutes left the deserved goal for the home side came as Brandao fired home at the far post after great work from debutant Jadson.
Brandao even had the chance to win it late on, but goalkeeper Frank Rost saved well at his near post to seal a draw for the visitors.
The game is now wonderfully poised as they two head for Gelsenkirchen next week fighting for the right to meet Alemannia Aachen or AZ Alkmaar in the second knockout round.