(Translated by Thomas Snaith)
Urs Fischer warned his team of the danger of counter attacks before the fixture kicked off. Just before the end of the first half, his team was losing by one goal: a fast paced counter attack put the visiting team ahead. After Matías Delgado´s perfect pass to Birkir Bjarnason inside the box, the Icelandic international lost the ball. The Bulgarian side launched a counter attack; Cafu sored and Marcelinho provided the assist to put Ludogorets ahead, 1:0. This was the only time during the entire fixture where the visitors appeared in front of Basel´s goal. The goal was frustrating as Basel dominated for the first 45 minutes, creating several chances. Bjarnason´s lob didn’t reach the target and his back heal attempt was blocked by a Bulgarian defender.
After half time the home team continued to dominate and remained the more active an of the two sides. Basel needed a lot of patience to win the point. The 1:1 equalizer, ten minutes before the final whistle was more than deserved. Michael Lang´s cross was deflected over Seydou Doumbia by Ludogorets´ keeper Vladislav Stoyanov, directing the ball to Renato Steffen. Steffen hit the ball on the volley, artistically scoring the needed goal. Not only was the ball deflected by the keeper, but the angle from which Steffen managed to score, was more than impressive. One point secured.
FCB's performance am motivation for challenges ahead
The result was not ideal from FCB´s perspective and the team´s aim of being represented in European competition in 2017 has not gotten any closer. The most frustrating aspect of the fixture against Razgrad was the fact that FC Basel 1893 dominated most if the game. FCB pushed their opponent into their own half during several phases of the fixture but failed to collect three points. Urs Fischer expressed his disappointment: “Sometimes football is not a fair game” he stated, but he was happy about his team´s reaction in the second half: “Normally you lose a game like this one but we always believed in ourselves, remained focused and didn’t get distracted.”
The home team´s fighting spirit will provide confidence for the upcoming Champions League games. Basel are not considered favorites for the next two fixtures and most likely won’t be faced with defensively minded opponents, who take any opportunity to engage in counter attacks. FCB´s first fixture of this campaign was a tough challenge, which they managed to handle quite well. The final result was simply not the result sought after by the team in red and blue.
FC Basel 1893 – PFC Ludogorets Razgrad 1:1 (0:1)
St. Jakob-Park. – 30‘852 Supporters. – Referee Aleksei Kulbakov (Belarus).
Goals: 45. Jonathan Cafu 0:1 (Marcelinho). 80. Steffen 1:1 (Lang).
FCB: Vaclik; Lang, Suchy, Balanta, Traoré; Xhaka, Zuffi (70. Fransson); Bjarnason, Delgado (82. Callà), Steffen; Janko (40. Doumbia).
Ludogorets: Stoyanov; Natanael (80. Vitinha), Palomino, Moti, Minev; Anicet Abel, Dyakov (91. Sasha); Misidjan, Marcelinho, Wanderson (85. Plastun); Jonathan Cafu.
Notes: FCB without Akanji (injured). – Substitutes FCB: Callà, Doumbia, Fransson, Gaber, Hoegh, Serey Die and Vailati. – Yellow Cards: 66. Steffen. 67. Wanderson. 76. Natnanael.