Jefferson Farfán, often casting a mercurial figure with his wealth of physical talent outstretching his impact, scored twice and was instrumental in a third, leading Schalke to a 3-1 victory over Valencia on Wednesday, guiding the Royal Blues into the Champions League quarterfinals. The 4-2 aggregate victory means Schalke, now in the final eight of the tournament, could finish higher in Champions League than in the Bundesliga, where they came into today's action in 10th place.
Valencia got on the board first, breaking the 1-1 draw that carried over from the first leg. The goal came off the head of Ricardo Costa, who redirected Mehmet Topal's lined cross past Manuel Neuer from five yards. By the 17th minute, Valencia had pulled back Schalke's away goal.
It took Schalke 23 minutes to respond, with Farfán blasting a shot from the right of the box into the upper 90. Vincente Guaita had no chance to save a ball that beat him to his left, evening the score a 2-2.
That was the scoreline going into halftime, one that carried the momentary specter of penalty kicks, but early int he second half, Schalke eliminated that possibility. Mario Gavranovic, picking-up a Farfán shot that had been saved, put a shot from eight yards off the right post. The ball rolled along the goal line to the left post before bouncing in, giving Schalke a 2-1, 3-2 lead.
Sitll, one goal by Valencia would send them through on away goals. To Schalke's credit, Valencia never seemed capable of threatening, and on a counter attack in stoppage time, Farfán chipped Guaita for the 3-1, 4-2 win.