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Basel hold on in Hungary

Wednesday, 1 December 2004

[1] FC Basel 1893 held on for a potentially crucial UEFA Cup Group A victory against Ferencvárosi TC, who missed a golden opportunity to earn a share of the spoils at the Ferenc Puskás stadium as goalkeeper Lajos Szücs missed an 85th-minute penalty.

Basel comeback

[2] Goals from Julio Rossi and Benjamin Huggel turned the match in the visitors' favour after Dénes Rósa had given the home side the lead midway through the first half, heading in the rebound from Szabolcs Huszti's saved penalty. The Hungarian side failed with their second spot-kick, however, Szücs shooting wide after Basel substitute David Degen had handled to give the visitors three points that moved them into third place in the section.

Delgado disappointment

[3] Ferencváros were without defender Sorin Botis, sidelined with a groin problem, while Basel coach Christian Gross was lacking injured pair Mladen Petric and Murat Yakin while playmaker Matías Delgado was fit enough only for the substitutes' bench.

Three-pronged attack

[4] Gross opted for a three-pronged attack with Argentinian trio Rossi, Christian Giménez and César Carignano. The bold decision almost paid off on eight minutes when the lively Rossi fed Giménez on the left flank but the striker could not find Carignano with his cross.

Height advantage

[5] The Swiss side had an obvious height advantage at set-pieces and a minute later, Marco Zwyssig rose highest to head Sébastien Barberis' free-kick narrowly wide. On 19 minutes, Zwyssig's defensive partner Boris Smiljanic's effort was headed just wide of Szücs' left-hand post by Rossi.

Penalty miss

[6] But for all their early domination, Basel went behind three minutes later as Boris Smiljanic brought down Aleksandar Bajevski after the striker had collected Dénes Rósa's through-ball. Huszti's penalty was saved by Pascal Zuberbühler but the goalkeeper was unable to hold on to the ball and Huszti reacted first, heading across goal for Rósa to head in.

Zuberbühler zest

[7] Zuberbühler made another excellent save just before the half-hour from Robert Vagner's close-range half-volley as Ferencváros, buoyed by the goal, began to force the Swiss side on to the back foot. Gábor Gyepes then shot narrowly wide before Gábor Zavadszky fired straight at Zuberbühler on the stroke of half-time.

Rossi goal

[8] The visitors began the second half as they had the first and on 57 minutes the influential Rossi found space on the right and crossed but Carignano directed a free header wide. The disappointment was short-lived though and two minutes later Rossi scored the goal his performance had warranted, sliding in to direct Kléber's left-wing cross past Szücs.

Key games

[9] The Brazilian defender was again the provider when Basel took the lead on 78 minutes, supplying a deep cross that Huggel did well to reach, and despite the best efforts of Péter Lipcsei, the ball drifted just inside the post. Szücs' misdirected penalty was the home side's last chance and Ferencváros now have to beat Heart of Midlothian FC on 16 December and hope that Basel are defeated by Feyenoord in Switzerland on the same night in order to progress.

Basel's Philipp Degen skips past Szabolcs Huszti of Ferencváros