GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Schalke 04 marked their return to the Champions League after a three-year absence with a 1-1 draw at home to Porto in their Group D opener on Tuesday to earn some respite after a poor start to the Bundesliga season.
Schalke went into the game having lost all three doemstic league matches so far this season but forward Breel Embolo put the hosts ahead in the 64th minute before Otavio levelled with Porto’s second penalty of the evening 11 minutes later.
With eight Champions League debutants in Schalke’s starting lineup, Domenico Tedesco’s side needed some time to settle in.
Porto, who won the 2004 Champions League title in the same stadium, got a 13th minute penalty when Alex Telles’ deep throw-in landed on Naldo’s arm. But keeper Ralf Faehrmann picked the right corner and spectacularly palmed Telles’ penalty to safety.
The Schalke captain came to the rescue again two minutes after the restart with a sensational reflex save to keep out a point-blank Felipe header.
The home side gradually grew more adventurous and, after twice failing to score on the break, Embolo found the net after a fine assist from Weston McKennie.
But another Naldo foul in the box gave the Portuguese the chance to level from the penalty spot and Otavio this time sent Faehrmann the wrong way to grab a point for the visitors. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Ken Ferris)