FC Gomel 1-4 FC Schalke 04
FC Schalke 04 are all but certain of qualification for the second round of the UEFA Cup after comfortably beating FC Gomel in Minsk.
The Belarussians managed to hold the 1. Bundesliga club for 45 minutes, as Schalke's possession failed to result in any clearcut chances and they were restricted to long shots. Indeed the only decent chance fell to Gomel when Fedor Loukachenko fired a speculative effort from 35 metres, which deflected off a defender and fell to Aliaksandr Danilau, whose effort flew just wide.
Set-pieces the key
Schalke, however, switched gears in the second half, and their set-pieces proved to be the key factor. First, Ebbe Sand's header beat Viatcheslav Dousmanov in the Gomel goal after a corner by Sven Vermant on 58 minutes. The hosts bounced back immediately through Anton Ivanov, who rose to head in Danilau's corner.
Vermant the provider
However, Vermant then laid on two more goals for the visitors, setting up Sand for his second and then Christian Poulsen. Darío Rodríguez then finished Gomel off in style, finishing well after a quick run and an excellent pass by Gerald Asamoah.
Gracious in defeat
"I am happy we won this game," said Schalke coach Frank Neubarth after the game. "Good set-pieces were the key for us." Meanwhile Gomel coach Sergey Podapaly was gracious in defeat. "I can only congratulate the opponents on their victory," he said. "We played well, but the set-pieces let us down, as we allowed three goals from corners."