GELSENKIRCHEN GERMANY - FEBRUARY 12: (L-R) Peer Kluge of Schalke and Raúl Gonzalez of Schalke celebrate the 1-0 victory after the Bundesliga match between FC Schalke 04 and SC Freiburg at Veltins Arena on February 12 2011 in Gelsenkirchen Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Record-Tying Goal Sees Raul, Schalke Take 1-1 Draw Back To Germany

Schalke won Group B, outdistancing France's Lyon and Portugal's Benfica. Valencia qualifies for the knock-out phase having finished behind Manchester United.

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UEFA Champions League, Valencia Vs. Schalke: Record-Tying Day For Raul Gives Schalke 1-1 Draw, Advantage Coming Out Of Valencia

Valencia's first 60 minutes are going to be forgotten, echoing a story we commonly hear at the top levels of professional football. One side is dominant in possession and chances, dictating the play throughout that time while only generating a slight lead on the scoresheet. On Tuesday in Spain, it was 1-0, a 17th minute goal from Roberto Soldado, redirected a great cross from Jeremy Mathieu.

In the 64th minute, with Schalke's second or third change of the match, Raúl made Valencia play for their inability to find a second goal. The former Real Madrid attacker, playing his first match in Spain since leaving the Santiago Bernabeu, got on the end of a long ball out of the Schalke end, using his second touch to put a left-footed shot to the far post of Vicente Guaiti for the Germans' equalizer.

It was an unfortunate turn for Guaiti, in for the injured César, who gave a strong performance. The second choice `keeper did well to palm a Peer Kluge header against the cross bar in the first half, keeping Valencia in front. In the second half, Guaita was called to lay-out multiple times in order to keep the score even.

That even score would hold until the final whistle, with Schalke taking a relatively large edge back to Germany. The score draw means a 0-0 at Veltins-Arena would send Schalke into the quarterfinals.

But the story of the day isn't Schalke's accomplishment but Raúl's goal. It was the Spanish attacker's 69th goal in European competition, a tally that moves him even with Gerd Müller on the competitions' all-time goal scoring list.

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UEFA Champions League, Valencia Vs. Schalke: Lukas Schmitz Sees Red As Sides Play-Out 1-1 Draw

The final moments of today's match at the Mestalla - the minutes where Schalke was supposed to try and bleed out the match and take a 1-1 draw back to Gelsenkirchen - Schalke nearly stole a second goal. First it was Raúl, as regulation time ran out, taking advantage of a bad give away by Tino Costa, nearly chipping Vicente Guaiti from the far left. Next it was Hao Junmin, recently on for Klass-Jan Huntelaar (as Felix Magath's third, time wasting substitute) who burst through the midfield with the ball, pulling up at the edge of the area for a shot that forces Guaiti to lay-out to his right. Where Valencia had made changes intent on chasing the match, it was Schalke that looking more like the winning side.

Late in the match, however, Schalke got some bad news. Left back Lukas Schmitz, booked very early in the match, saw a second yellow, apparently for some language directed at am opponent. Schmitz will now miss the return leg in Germany.

With the last touches of the match, Aritz Aduriz put a dead ball cross to Manuel Neuer's far corner, with some suspect Schalke defending giving Valencia supporters reason to think their side could improbably salvage a win in stoppage time.

But it wasn't meant to be, leaving the record-breaking goal from Raúl to be the match's decisive score. With that 64th minute tally, Raúl not only became the most prolific scorer in European competition but also reversed an hour of Valencia control. With the equalizer, Schalke has an all-important road goal, sending the match back to the Veltins-Arena with the German club holding the advantage.

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UEFA Champions League, Valencia Vs. Schalke: Roberto Soldado Goal Sends Los Che Into Half Up 1-0

Valencia controlled the first 45 minutes at the Estadio Mestalla, and as a reward, the home side has a 1-0 lead over visiting Schalke. The match's goal came int he 17th minute, with Jeremy Mathieu providing for Roberto Soldado, a near post cross from the left that was redirected past Manuel Neuer.

Schalke's best chance came early in the half when a ball played back into the Valencia area after a corner kick was headed down for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The Dutch striker had an uncontested shot that he scuffed, the mishit half-volley failing to test Vicente Guaita. Schalke came close to an equalizer mid-way through the half when Peer Kluge nearly headed a corner kick over Guaita only to see the understudy keeper palm the ball against the bar.

Valencia put five shots on goal in the half compared to Schalke's two. Valencia's also held 63 percent of possession, a fair indication of the type of half it's been. Schalke's remained compact, waiting to challenge until Valencia brings the ball into their half. Unfortunately for Schalke, Valencia has had success getting into attack, seemingly figuring out Schalke after eight minutes.

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UEFA Champions League, Valencia Vs. Schalke: Roberto Soldado Puts Home Jeremy Mathieu Cross, Gives Los Che Early Lead

Valencia had employed a very left-leaning approach through the match's early moments, their build-up forced wide by Schalke's defense. Though the first 16 minutes, entries down Jeremy Mathieu and Alberto Costa's side has been easily stopped, but one moment of brilliance - chalkboard execution - has given Los Che and early lead. Mathieu, put behind the line by Artiz Aduriz, played a near-post cross for Robeto Soldado, the Valencia strike redirected his side in front.

The crux of the play was build just outside the Valencia area, to the far left of Neuer's goal. There Aduriz had a ball played to his feet, on which he turned and put Mathieu behind right back Atsuto Uchida. The first touch from Mathieu sent a liner of a cross to the near post. Neuer went for it but could not get their fast enough, with Soldado coming on to redirect the ball home.

It was Valencia's first meaningful chance of the match but one that was easily converted. Uchida got no help from right wing Jefferson Farfán, and as a result had no chance to defend against both Aduriz and Mathieu. When Neuer couldn't get to the cross, Valencia had an easy and early 1-0 lead.

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