KENYA BROWN - Wednesday, September 26, 2018
It was good night for Weston McKennie as he made his debut in the Champions League, notching an assist for Schalke as they shared the points with FC Porto.
Schalke 1-1 FC Porto 1
There is nothing like mid-week games in Europe and Weston McKennie got his first taste of it as he made a good impression, setting up the only goal for Schalke as they settle for a tie with FC Porto at the Veltins Arena.
Schalke came into the game not in the best of shape as they have sputtered out of the gate in the Bundesliga losing their first three games. Surely a positive result in European competition could provide them some relief.
However, the game would start of on the wrong foot for the Royal Blues as the referee awarded a penalty to Porto after Naldo was judged to have handled the ball in the area. Replays showed that his hand did indeed touch the ball.
That left it for Porto's Alex Telles to step and take the penalty, but Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann would guess right as he dived to his left to deny the penalty.
The first half would end scoreless as both teams were still looking to find that opening goal to get their Champions League campaigns rolling.
Fahrmann was called into duty just seconds into the second half when he made a save on a Porto free-kick that even he probably could not explain. Porto defender Felipe ran into the area to chest a cross towards goal, but somehow the German goalkeeper was able to make the stop unbeknowingly with his leg.
Schalke would finally break the scoreless deadlock in the 64th minute when Suat Sedar gained control of the ball and passed on to McKennie, who made a run down the right side. He did well to cross the ball over to teammate Breel Embolo and the Swiss striker would get his shot past Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
However, the host could not hold their lead as the referee pointed to the spot for another penalty. It was judged that Naldo had clipped Moussa Marega in the area. According to replays though, it looked like the Malian forward had taken a dive.
Otavinho stepped up this time for Porto to take the penalty and he was successful as he sent Fahrmann the wrong way to convert his shot in the 75th minute.
Schalke sits in third place in Group D with point.
Timothy Weah was not apart of the Paris Saint Germain team that headed to Liverpool for their Champions League opener as the Reds came away with a 3-2 win over the Parisiens.
Keaton Parks is not among the players on Benfica's Champions League roster, but they stumbled out of the gate nonetheless as they went down to a 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich at the Stadium of Light.