Schalke holds Galatasaray to draw
But Schalke scorer, midfielder Jermaine Jones, will miss the second leg of their last-16 tie on March 12 through suspension after picking up his third yellow card of the competition - 10 minutes before scoring.
Jones called the yellow card ''stupid'' but said the team was ''absolutely satisfied'' with the result.
Burak Yilmaz opened the scoring against the run of play in the 12th, displaying great skill to lift the ball over Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes with the back of his heel before blasting the ball past Timo Hildebrand.
Jones was booked in the 35th after calling for a yellow card for an opponent, but finished off a swift counterattack to equalize before the interval. Jefferson Farfan ran onto Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's ball forward before playing it into the center for the American to score emphatically.
''Whenever it comes to the crunch, we're there,'' said Hildebrand, referring to the club's poor midseason form.
Huntelaar, who recovered from an eye injury to play, missed two good chances to improve Schalke's record of just one win from its last 13 games across all competitions.
Galatasaray defender Dany Nounkeu cleared from the Dutchman in the first minute, when Jones drew a save from Fernando Muslera and Farfan played in the rebound.
A wayward pass from Schalke midfielder Roman Neustaedter led to the opening goal, with recent signings Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba both involved before Selcuk Inan found Burak Yilmaz to score his seventh goal of the competition.
Huntelaar then missed with the goal at his mercy after failing to connect with Hoewedes' header at the far post.
Two minutes later, Hildebrand saved from Drogba and former Schalke midfielder Hamit Altintop struck the crossbar from the rebound.
Hildebrand was again called into action to deny Burak Yilmaz, before Jones drew the sides level.
Sneijder was taken off at halftime after failing to deal with Schalke's forays down the right.
However, the visitors maintained most of the possession after the break, only to be let down by the final ball.
The 19-year-old Julian Draxler berated Huntelaar for failing to read his intentions as another pass went astray in the penalty area.
Huntelaar and Burak Yilmaz had chances to win at either end, but the Dutchman fired over before being replaced, while the impressive Turkey striker was narrowly wide of the far post.
Galatasaray midfielder Nordin Amrabat laid out the strategy for the return leg: ''The formula for victory is very simple. We need to score and win (in Gelsenkirchen). But it won't be an easy task.''