(Translated by Thomas Snaith)
Before the game:
Marcel Koller put trust in the same players that played against PSV to beat LASK; a nearly identical starting line-up. Koller only made two changes to his team: Blas Riveros started as left back, replacing Taulant Xhaka. Number 19 and striker Afimico Pululu replaced the injured Albian Ajeti, celebrating his European-Cup debut.
The first half:
The first 45 minutes ended without any significant chances from either side. The visitors were responsible for the most dangerous moment of the 1st half; Klauss de Mellos had an attempt on target, but Eray Cömert intercepted the ball over the goal. After 30 minutes of play it was FCB´s turn to create a little danger. After a corner kick Afimico Pululus´shot landed in the back of the net, but was correctly disallowed due to offside.
We were unable to build up the game from within our own half and we didn’t win enough one on one challenges. We need to improve and be more awake next tuesday.
FCB did show a few moments of magic, however no clear chances were created and the 1st half ended in a 0:0 draw.
The second half:
The 2nd half started terribly for the home team: Linz scored 5 minutes into the 2nd half. Basel was warned about LASK´s set-pieces; Peter Michorl´s corner was headed into the back of the net by Gernot Trauner. After LASK´s goal not many chances were created for quite some time- FCB were not able to react and 10 minutes before the end of the fixture the visitors struck again, scoring their 2nd goal of the night, 0:2. Eray Cömert deflected Klauss de Mello´s shot which made it impossible for keeper Jonas Omlin to save.
It was crucial that we were able turn it up a gear in the 2nd half.
Now FCB started to wake up and played their best phase of the fixture; Luca Zuffi scored (1:2) from a distance of 16 meters.. into the top corner, reducing the goal difference for Basel.
After the Game:
FCB were not able to replicate the amazing performance they showed last week against PSV. Basel was missing creativity in front of the goal as well as coolness on the ball, which the visitors implemented perfectly. LASK wasn’t the better team but used their chances well and are therefore one step closer to qualification. Their chances will be more than intact when facing FCB at home next Tuesday.
The duel will be decided after two fixtures. In order to have a chance of qualifying we need to show a different performance in Austria.
There is still hope for FCB in the return leg fixture in Austria, especially after Zuffi´s goal. There are still at least 90 minutes to play. This season Basel have proven to react well after defeats or set-backs. We will see if FC Basel 1893 can manage a comeback next Tuesday.
FC Basel 1893 – LASK 1:2 (0:0)
St. Jakob-Park. – 20’470 Supporters. – Referee Andreas Ekberg (Sweden).
Tore: 50. Trauner 0:1 (Michorl). 82. Klauss de Mello 0:2. 87. Zuffi 1:2
FCB: Omlin; Widmer, Alderete, Cömert, Riveros; Frei, Balanta (76. Bua); Stocker (65. Ademi), Zuffi, van Wolfswinkel; Pululu (76. Okafor).
LASK: Schlager; Ramsebner (17. Pogatetz), Trauner, Wieser (63. Frieser); Ranftl, Holland, Michorl, Renner; Goiginger, Klauss de Mello (83. Raguz), Tetteh.
Notes: FCB without Kuzmanovic, Tushi (both injured) and Ajeti (injured). LASK without Benko, Oh, Reiter, Wostry (all injured) and Otubanjo (ilness). Substitutes FCB: Ademi, Bua, Campo, Dimitriou, Nikolic, Okafor and Xhaka. – Yellow Cards: 26. Michorl (foul). 28. Riveros (foul). – After 15 minutes van Wolfswinkel was positioned as spear head striker and Pululu on the wing. After Ademi was substituted on, he took on the position of head striker and van Wolfswinkel moved to the wing.