Schalke 04 vs. Porto  1 - 0

Article

Slomka celebrates as Schalke seize initiative

19 February 2008 22:50

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AFP) - Schalke 04 coach Mirko Slomka got the "dream result" he wanted after his side took control of their Champions League first knock-out round tie with a 1-0 first-leg win over FC Porto.

Germany striker Kevin Kuranyi fired his side a step closer to a quarter-final berth as his fourth-minute goal was enough to give the Bundesliga side a valuable advantage before the trip to the Algarve.

And with Schalke's resolute defence having kept Porto scoreless, it means Slomka's side are now in the driving seat to make the last eight when the two sides meet for the second leg on March 5 at the Estadio do Dragao.

"That was the dream result for us," said a delighted Slomka after the final whistle.

"In the first 45 minutes, we had enough chances to make it 2-0.

"In the second-half, Porto played much better and gave us lots of problems, forcing us into defence.

"But I am pleased with the result, especially not to concede any goals."

For Porto, it was to be no fairytale return to the Veltins Arena - the scene of their 2004 Champions League triumph when they beat Monaco 3-0 - as they failed to beat Schalke's defence after Kuranyi's early break through.

"That was a difficult game for us," said Royal Blues striker Gerald Asamoah.

"Porto are not a bad side and we have to be content with the 1-0 win.

"It was important we gave ourselves an advantage going to Portugal, but we still have a lot of work to do if we are to go through."

The Portuguese league leaders came into Tuesday's game on the back of a 3-0 win away to Maritimo last weekend, having conceded only seven goals all season, they failed to break their hosts' defensive strangle-hold.

In contrast, Schalke suffered a shock when they were humbled 2-1 at home to VfL Wolfsburg last Friday night which cost them third place in the German league and left Slomka far from happy.

But Slomka was all smiles at the final whistle as his side gave themselves a fighting chance for the return leg.

The Portuguese have some reason to feel they deserved more than they left Gelsenkirchen having had the lion's share of possession and creating 16 shots on goal, compared with Schalke's seven.

Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
5 12 -4 19
6 12 +3 18
7 12 +0 17
8 12 -1 17
9 12 +1 16

Primeira Liga table

# Team MP D P
1 10 +16 25
2 10 +12 23
3 10 +14 22
4 10 +4 20
5 10 +8 18