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Huntelaar hat-trick sends Schalke through

Published: Thursday 15 March 2012, 23.32CET
FC Schalke 04 4-1 FC Twente (agg: 4-2)
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored his second consecutive UEFA Europa League hat-trick as Die Königsblauen came from behind to eliminate the visitors.
by Paul Curran
from Arena AufSchalke

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Published: Thursday 15 March 2012, 23.32CET

Huntelaar hat-trick sends Schalke through

FC Schalke 04 4-1 FC Twente (agg: 4-2)
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored his second consecutive UEFA Europa League hat-trick as Die Königsblauen came from behind to eliminate the visitors.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored his second consecutive UEFA Europa League hat-trick to help FC Schalke 04 come from behind and book a quarter-final berth at the expense of FC Twente.

Luuk De Jong's first-leg penalty was all that separated the sides going into the game and the Eredivisie outfit did not take long to stretch their aggregate lead through Willem Janssen. However, Huntelaar headed in an equaliser before giving his side the lead from the spot as the tide turned after the break. Raúl González expertly set up Jermaine Jones to put Schalke on course for the last eight with Huntelaar supplying the finishing touch late on.

The German side had a mountain to climb when Twente scored an away goal on 14 minutes. Luuk de Jong broke down the left on the counterattack and picked out Nacer Chadli, who rolled the ball neatly into the path of Janssen for the simplest of finishes into the bottom left.

That goal left Schalke needing to score three but they were not willing to give up on their European adventure that easily and, with a little under half an hour played, they hit back. Huntelaar, booked moments earlier for simulation, rose at the back post to head in Julian Draxler's cross from the left. It was the lifeline his side dearly needed.

The hosts kept the pressure up and, in the 56th minute, went ahead on the night when Huntelaar converted emphatically from the penalty spot after Janssen was penalised for handball. The visitors were still going through on away goals but Stevens' charges had the momentum and completed the comeback in 19 minutes from time.

Raúl's clever back-heel found Jones, who finished neatly on the turn to put his side on course for the quarter-finals. Jones turned provider to set up Huntelaar ten minutes later, as the Dutchman evaded the attentions of Dwight Tiendalli to score his ninth UEFA Europa League goal of the season and ensure Schalke's place in Friday's draw.

Last updated: 27/11/12 14.50CET

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