Bayer Leverkusen rallies for 1-1 draw at Schalke


FRANKFURT, Germany, AP

Fanis Gekas scored to rally Bayer Leverkusen to a 1-1 draw at Schalke in a fourth-round Bundesliga game Friday.

Kevin Kuranyi scored with a glancing header from 10 meters off a free kick by Christian Pander in first-half injury time to give Schalke the lead.

But Gekas, last season’s Bundesliga scoring leader with Bochum, notched the equalizer in the 53rd.

In a fast-paced game, Ivan Rakitic hit the Leverkusen post in the 14th minute after connecting with a cross from Gerald Asamoah, then Kuranyi missed from close range.

Schalke lost central defender Mladen Krstajic to a left-knee injury after 20 minutes. The other starting central defender, Marcelo Bordon, missed the game because of an injury.

Asamoah was then bloodied above the right eye, but he returned.

Leverkusen’s Vratislav Gresko fired from outside the penalty box in the 38th, but Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer punched the ball over the crossbar.

Neuer did well to tip over a powerful drive by Stefan Kiessling at the start of the second half.

On the other side, his counterpart Rene Adler was tested by Jermaine Jones. Gekas then capitalized on a mistake by the Schalke defense. Neuer deflected his first effort but Gekas pounced on the loose ball again and slotted it home for his second goal of the season.

Rakitic came close once more in the 55th but Adler dived to his left to deflect the shot.

Adler saved his team a few minutes later by tipping high a fierce header from Kuranyi. Following the corner, the Leverkusen goalkeeper stopped a couple shots from close range from a scramble in front his net.