(Translated by Thomas Snaith)
BEFORE THE GAME:
147 days after FCB's 3-0 away victory in Germany, the second leg of this UEFA Europa League, round of 16 took place at Basel´s Joggeli. Marcel Koller played a very similar line-up to that of the game in Frankfurt in March, with only two changes.
Koller was forced to make a change: Djordje Nikolic was now in goal and replaced injured Jonas Omlin. The other change concerned Blas Riveros, for him Raoul Petretta moved back one row. In Frankfurt he played on the wing; now Afimico Pululu played on the wing. Petretta celebrated a very special anniversary; The 23-year-old made his 100th appearance in a competitive game for RotBlau.
Before kick-off, a minute's silence was held in memory of the global Covid-19 deaths.
THE FIRST HALF:
Both teams played a solid first half, creating chances, with FCB initially creating the better opportunities to score. Rotblau was closest to scoring after about half an hour after kick-off when Silvan Widmer attempted a shot on target from inside the box, after some quality passing between Samuele Campo and Raoul Petretta. Kevin Trapp prevented Widmer from scoring, showing off his goalkeeping qualities.
THE MIRACLE OF BASEL WAS OUT OF REACH
The guests were rewarded a few free kicks from central position, but these were not dangerous. They had their best chance in added time when Bas Dost came to a header after a corner, but the ball flew over the goal. Soon after, the referee ended FCB´s fifth half in a row without any goals. The result was in Basel´s favour.
THE SECOND HALF:
The second half offered a lot of entertainment. FCB and Eintracht Frankfurt both launched several counter attacks. The home team still had the better chances to score. Even if the guests put on some pressure, in which they pushed RotBlau back into their own half for a longer period of time, the better chances took place in front of the Hessen´s box.
I PARTICULARLY LIKED MY TEAM´S DEFENSIVE SOLIDARITY.
It was not undeserved that Fabian Frei scored the winner in Basel in the final minutes of the fixture. After a fine dribble into the box, Frei dribbled past several Frankfurt players, as well as keeper Kevin Trapp.
AFTER THE GAME:
Even though Basel had an advantage ahead of this fixture, it was not self-evident that FCB would defend the 3-0 lead so confidently. In the end FC Basel 1893 celebrated their second victory in their 2nd fixture against last year's semi-finalists in this competition. Now Rotblau is in the quarter-finals of the Europa League for the third time in the last seven years.
THE QUALIFICATION FOR THE QUARTER-FINALS IS SENSATIONAL, BUT WE DON'T JUST WANT TO PLAY IN THIS TOURNAMENT BUT WE WANT TO GO AS FAR AS POSSIBLE.
This qualification for the round of the last eight something special. On the one hand, because the Basel team managed to flip the switch again and again in this competition despite a streaky championship and, on the other hand, of course because of the new structure of the tournament: As of next Monday, the winner oft he competition will be determined from the eight remaining teams in knockout mode, with FCB kicking off on Tuesday, August 11th, 2020, against Shakhtar Donetsk (9:00 p.m., Arena AufSchalke). You just have to take it a game at a time - hopefully for some time to come.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO THIS TOURNAMENT AND WANT TO CONTINUE TO SURPRISE.
FC Basel 1893 - Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 (0-0)
St. Jakob Park. - No supporters. - Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain).
Goal: 88. Free 1-0 (Widmer).
FCB: Nikolic; Widmer, Cömert, Alderete, Petretta; Xhaka (87th Marchand), Frei; Stocker (66th van Wolfswinkel), Campo, Pululu (66th van der Werff); Cabral (80th Ademi).
Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp; da Costa (76. Chandler), Abraham, Hinteregger, N’Dicka (46. Hasebe); Kohr, Rode (67. Ilsanker), Kostic; Silva (46. Gonçalo Paciência), Kamada, Dost.
Notes: FCB without Omlin, Ramires, Zuffi (all injured) and Oberlin (not permitted to play). Substitutes FCB: Ademi, Bunjaku, de Mol, Isufi, Lurvink, Marchand, Pukaj, Riveros, Stevanovic, van der Werff, van Wolfswinkel and Tushi. – Yellow Cards: 25. Cömert. 33. Kohr. 80. Chandler. – 62. Kostic prevents Stocker from scoring, saves ball off the line. – Minute of silence for Covid-19-Deaths.