United States international Weston McKennie's late header gave Schalke a 1-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday as they continued to recover from a poor start to the season.
Several chances were missed on a wet night in Moscow, but McKennie made the difference in the 88th minute when he leapt unmarked at the far post to head in Yevhen Konoplyanka's corner.
The win leaves Schalke with four points in Group D and gives them a second victory after a six-game winless run that included five consecutive Bundesliga defeats.
"This important win should change the direction our season is going," McKennie said. "We haven't had the best start and will definitely do better."
Playing their first Champions League home game since 2003, Lokomotiv had the better of Schalke in the first half but their finishing was poor.
They had just one shot on target all game, when Schalke keeper Ralf Faehrmann parried Dmitry Barinov's shot from the edge of the penalty area in the 27th minute.
With striker Fyodor Smolov out injured, "we didn't have forwards who could have come on and added some spice," Lokomotiv coach Yuri Syomin said, adding that his players were so tired they lost focus for the corner that led to McKennie's winning goal.
"You lose concentration when you're tired and I think our players were very tired in the last eight or 10 minutes," Syomin said.
Lokomotiv, who claimed the Russian Premier League title last season, have lost their opening two Champions League games.