Basel kept alive their
hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout stages when
goals by Fabian Frei, Alexander Frei and Marco Streller earned a
3-2 win at Otelul Galati in Group C on Tuesday.
Heiko Vogel's side moved on to eight points from five games,
only a point behind Benfica and Manchester United who drew 2-2
at Old Trafford. The Swiss side must beat United in their last
group game on December 7 to progress with the English champions
needing a draw to reach the last 16.
"It's just great that everything will be decided at St Jakob
Park," Vogel told reporters. "I'm so happy about the team and I
want to congratulate everyone.
"We should've play better after we're 3-0 up but it showed
once again why football is so spectacular and unpredictable."
The hosts, who have scored only once in the group, settled
quickly at the National Arena, almost taking the lead after four
minutes when Cristian Sarghi headed just over the bar from
Laurentiu Iorga's cross.
After a relatively slow start, Basel broke the deadlock on a
bitterly cold evening in Bucharest with their first attack when
midfielder Fabian Frei gave goalkeeper Branko Grahovac no chance
in the 10th minute with a powerful shot.
Four minutes later, Alexander Frei netted his fourth of the
campaign with an easy finish from 10 metres following unselfish
play from fellow striker Streller.
Otelul were far from lethargic but lacked ideas on how to
create scoring opportunities with Basel, unbeaten away from home
in the group, defending solidly.
Lively Xherdan Shaqiri went close to scoring a third midway
through the first half but his curling left foot shot from the
edge of the penalty area went just wide.
Basel captain Streller made it 3-0 eight minutes before the
break after reacting quickly to a deflected clearance before
racing through to slot past home Grahovac for his debut goal in
the tournament this season.
Basel continued to play a neat passing game after the
interval while Otelul failed to test young keeper Yann Sommer
until the last quarter of ah hour.
Otelul finished strongly with captain Gabriel Giurgiu and
Liviu Antal scoring in the space of six minutes but Basel were
solid in defence in the dying moments and the Romanians suffered
their fifth defeat in the group.
"I am disappointed," Otelul coach Dorinel Munteanu said. "It
was a very poor first half for us as we made some mistakes you
just can't afford at that level.
"We played better in the second half, the end was pretty
good, and we even could've snatched a draw. The boys showed
character in the second half."
In their final match Otelul travel to Benfica, who have
already reached the knockout stages, on December 7.
Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho will part company at the end of the current season
Manchester City midfielder called up to the England squad for summer friendlies
Spurs miss out on Champions League again despite highest Premier League points tally
Champions closer to matching Real Madrid's La Liga record of 100 points with 2-1 win
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010