BASEL - Forward Alexander
Frei scored a late penalty to give FC Basel a 2-1 win over
Champions League debutants Otelul Galati on Wednesday.
The Swiss side took a first-half lead through Fabian Frei
before Marius Pena levelled for the Romanians just before the
hour in the Group C game.
Otelul were worth a point until Marco Streller was judged to
have been fouled in the penalty area and Frei, the Swiss
national team's record goalscorer, stepped forward to convert
the penalty in the 84th minute.
Neither team offered much to suggest they could pose a
threat to Manchester United and Benfica, the other teams in the
group and favourites to qualify.
A dull opening half hour saw only one scoring chance when
Basel midfielder Granit Xhaka's low drive was parried by Branko
The hosts went ahead five minutes later when Streller
cleverly beat his man on the right and produced an inviting
cross for Fabian Frei to head into the bottom corner.
Otelul, whose coach Dorinel Muneanu is Romania's most capped
international, fired a couple of warnings early in the second
half as John Ibeh's shot was saved by Yann Sommer and Liviu
Antal was close with a dipping long-range effort.
They levelled in the 58th minute when Antal's low shot was
saved by Sommer and Marius Pena followed up to slot home the
Otelul's Adrian Salageanu was sent off in the incident which
led to the penalty and Basel captain Benjamin Huggel was
dismissed in the 86th minute.
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