On a dramatic night Brøndby IF held their nerve to beat FC Schalke 04 3-1 on penalties and secure a place in the UEFA Cup third round.
After losing the first leg 2-1, Brøndby took a first-half lead through an Andreas Jakobsson penalty, before Victor Agali equalised after the break. Mattias Jonson then made the game level over two legs with a low finish and Brøndby eventually prevailed.
In the first half, Schalke struggled against a disciplined Brøndby defence, and began to look vulnerable to Michael Laudrup’s counterattacking ploy. On 16 minutes the home team broke through. Swedish international Jonson showed pace as he got a toe to the ball in the Schalke area ahead of Tomasz Waldoch.
Central defender Jakobsson, who had scored Brøndby's goal in the first leg, stepped up and calmly sent Frank Rost the wrong way with his side-footed finish. The Brøndby stadium erupted, with the hosts now in control of the tie.
The momentum was certainly with Brøndby and on 27 minutes they should have scored a second. Jonson again showed real pace, racing past Tomasz Hajto to the by-line. The Swedish striker pulled the ball back for Karsten Johansen, who seemed to have done the hard work by teeing himself up, only to curl the ball the wrong side of the far post.
After the break Schalke took control. The visitors had obviously decided to exploit Sergio Pinto's pace, and the diminutive winger soon carved out an equaliser. Having deceived his marker, Pinto picked out Agali with a perfectly weighted cross that the Nigerian international headed in.
Schalke had a number of chances to finish the game, with Mike Hanke squandering two of the best. But Brøndby refused to be beaten, and on 71 minutes they were back in it. Dan Johansen sent a powerful drive against the bar, and the rebound fell to substitute Peter Foldgast. He in turn squared to Jonson, who shot across Rost and in at the far post.
Neither side was content to sit back and both poured forward in search of a winning goal. The intensity and tempo increased in extra time, as the silver goal rule placed the emphasis on attack. Chances came and went, but penalties seemed inevitable. It was Moroccan goalkeeper Karim Zaza's turn to play hero in the shoot-out, saving from Hajto to send Brøndby through.
Following the drama both coaches declared themselves "proud" of their teams. Brøndby's Michael Laudrup said: "
I thought it was a very even match. Over both legs you can always discuss if we deserved to win as we could easily have been knocked out rather than Schalke."
'A great experience'
Schalke coach Jupp Heynckes said: "I think both teams contributed to giving the crowd a great experience and great drama. The reason why we are out now is that we did not take our scoring opportunities in normal time."