Raul's second-half winner sent Schalke sailing through to the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League as winners of Group J after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Steaua Bucharest.
Raul converted a pass from Klaas Jan Huntelaar to secure victory but all is not yet lost for the Romanians with the runners-up spot blown wide open by AEK Larnaca's win over Maccabi Haifa.
Huntelaar had the first shot on target in the fifth minute when his left-footed drive from the edge of the penalty area was saved by Cristian Tatarusanu, and the visitors replied immediately with a shot just over the bar from Mihai Costea.
Alexander Baumjohann had a shot blocked in the sixth minute and Schalke continued to press with Raul's goalbound header from a Baumjohann corner punched away by Tatarusanu.
Tatarusanu saved another Raul header in the 16th minute as Schalke continued to look dangerous, and they finally made the breakthrough in the 26th minute when Kiriakos Papadopoulos headed home a Jose Manuel Jurado cross.
But Schalke were stunned when Steaua equalised seven minutes later, Pablo Brandan crossing from the left and Raul Rusescu sweeping home a left-foot shot from the centre of the penalty area.
Schalke looked the more likely winners early in the second half, Huntelaar bringing a good save out of Tatarusanu then Lewis Holtby seeing his shot blocked in the box by Alves Geraldo.
And their pressure told in the 57th minute when Raul picked up Huntelaar's short pass and prodded home from six yards, sending Schalke within touching distance of the knockout stages.
Desperate to salvage something from the game, the Romanians resorted to shooting from long range with Costea and Andrei Prepelita both missing the target as the minutes began to tick by.
With Schalke content to sit back on their advantage the final quarter of an hour passed by without major incident, Manuel Jurado coming closest to rounding out the scoring with a right-foot shot which flashed wide.