BERLIN, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Atsuto Uchida's curious opener at the second half gave Schalke a boost to overpower Steaua 3-0 in group E of the Champions League at Veltins-Arena on Wednesday.
The Royal Blues staged an offensively minded opening period against passive visitors. Nonetheless, Steaua were able to keep the hosts on distance for a while.
As the match progressed Schalke allowed Steaua to gain a foothold into the match as they struggled for goals, although new arrival Kevin Boateng came close twice. However, the visitors tested Schalke's defence when Christians Tanase's effort on target required a save by goalkeeper Timo Hildebrandt before the break.
After the break Schalke seemed idealess meanwhile Steaua sniffed the chance to grab some points on the road, but neither Pantelis Kapetanos nor Alexnadru Bourceanu were able to overcome Hildebrand with their efforts.
Japan international Atsuto Uchida broke the deadlock for Schalke out of the blue, when his cross floated untouched into the back of Steaua's goal at the 67th minute. The opener gave the home side more confidence as Boateng utilized Julian Draxler's assist inside the box to beat Ciprian Tatarusanu with a curl into the far post corner eleven minutes later.
The Knappen were on a tear as hapless Steaua failed to deny Draxler, who overcame onrushing Tatarusanu with a chip to make it 3-0 with five minutes remaining.
"We ensured a perfect start into the Champions League. I'm extremely happy about that," Schalke coach Jens Keller said after the game.
Schalke grab the lead in group E followed by Basel, Chelsea and Bucuresti.