Jermaine Jones was a Schalke hero on Thursday.
The U.S. national team midfielder scored the deciding goal and assisted on an insurance tally in Schalke's 4-1 victory over FC Twente, capping a furious comeback to keep the German side alive in the UEFA Europa League.
Twente led 1-0 on aggregate entering the match and scored a key away goal to put Schalke in a big hole in the 14th minute. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored twice to give Schalke a lifeline, though, and Jones stepped forward with a 71st-minute strike to nudge the club in front.
Jones then assisted Huntelaar, who completed his hat trick 10 minutes later to cap the impressive result and carry Schalke to the tournament quarterfinals.
Video of Jones' goal and results from Thursday's other Europa League action are after the jump:
BILBAO ELIMINATES UNITED
It's official: There will be no European silverware for Manchester United this season.
Marcelo Bielsa's Athletic Bilbao made sure of that, tacking a 2-1, second-leg victory onto their 3-2 advantage from the first leg to eliminate the Red Devils from the Europa League Round of 16 on a 5-3 aggregate.
Fernando Llorente capped a tremendous round with a stellar volley to open the scoring in the 23rd minute, and Oscar de Marcos added another in the second half to put the tie out of reach before Wayne Rooney scored a consolation goal in the 80th minute.
For United, their only chance at silverware this season — aside from August's Community Shield — is if they win the Premier League title. They failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockout stage and were knocked out of the Carling Cup in the Round of 16 and FA Cup in the fourth round prior to Thursday's loss.
SPORTING CP ELIMINATES MAN CITY
There won't be any European silverware for Manchester City, either.
Oguchi Onyewu might be rehabbing his knee injury, but his teammates are moving on to the quarterfinals after getting by the favored English side.
Carrying a 1-0 edge into Thursday's action, Sporting advanced despite blowing a 2-0 lead and losing 3-2 in the second leg.
Matias Fernandez and Ricky von Wolfswinkel scored to put Sporting in control before halftime, but Sergio Aguero had two goals sandwich a Mario Balotelli penalty kick to level the aggregate score. Sporting advanced via its away goal from the first leg.
ALTIDORE, AZ HOLD OFF UDINESE
A second-minute red card and conceding two early goals figured to doom AZ Alkmaar, but the U.S. forward Jozy Altidore's side persisted to stay alive and move on to the quarterfinals despite a 2-1 loss in Italy.
AZ carried a 2-0 edge from the first leg into Thursday's match, but Nick Viergever's 2nd-minute red card allowed Antonio di Natale to pull back an early goal from the penalty spot. Di Natale struck again in the 15th minute to even the tie and
Erik Falkenburg's 31st-minute goal restored confidence for AZ, accounting for an important away goal and giving the Dutch side the aggregate lead, and the 10-man outfit held on for a 3-2 series win. Altidore started, played all 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card for AZ.
CHERUNDOLO, HANNOVER CRUISE
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 will be joining Altidore in the quarterfinals after making quick work of Standard Liege with a 4-0 pasting in Germany.
The two teams were level on a 2-2 aggregate entering the match, but Mohammed Abdellaoue scored in the 4th minute, and Liege's Kanu accounted for two own goals on either side of halftime to put things out of reach. Sergio Pinto tacked on the final score in second-half stoppage time.
Cherundolo started and went the distance for Hannover.
In the rest of the Round of 16 ties:
PSV 1, Valencia 1 (Valencia advances on 5-3 aggregate)
Besiktas 0, Atletico Madrid 3 (Atletico Madrid advances on 6-1 aggregate)
Olympiakos 1, Metalist Kharkiv 2 (Metalist Kharkiv advances on 2-2 aggregate, away goal tiebreaker)
The quarterfinal draw featuring Schalke, AZ Alkmaar, Hannover 96, Sporting Lisbon, Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Metalist Kharkiv is slated for Friday.
What do you think about the Europa League quarterfinal field? Impressed with Athletic Bilbao's showing? Surprised that both Manchester teams crashed out? Happy to see so many Americans still alive in European competition?
Share your thoughts below.