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Burgstaller guides Schalke to brink of knockout stages

Burgstaller guides Schalke to brink of knockout stages
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LONDON (Reuters) – Guido Burgstaller took Schalke to the verge of the Champions League knockout stages on Tuesday, scoring a smart opener and creating the second as the Germans effectively ended Galatasaray’s hopes of progressing from Group D with a 2-0 win.

Burgstaller put the Germans ahead after four minutes when he scored from a narrow angle after capitalising on keeper Fernando Muslera’s error as he raced out of his goal.

Garry Rodrigues missed a chance to equalise midway through the first half when he skewed a half-volley wide, but the home side took control and might have extended their lead before halftime, with Sebastian Rudy hitting the post and Muslera atoning for his earlier error with a smart save from the omni-present Burgstaller.

But Mark Uth sealed victory for the Germans in the 57th minute, expertly converting Burgstaller’s cut-back as Schalke moved to within two points of qualifying for the knockout stages.

They remain second in Group D, two points behind FC Porto, and will qualify if they get two more points from their final two group games.

Galatasaray, on four points but without an away win in the Champions League since 2013, are no longer in control of their destiny.

(Reporting by Neville Dalton; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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