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Carignano carries Basel through

Thursday, 16 December 2004

[1] Argentinian striker César Carignano's second-half header ensured FC Basel 1893 reached the UEFA Cup's Round of 32 courtesy of a 1-0 defeat of Group A winners Feyenoord at St. Jakob-Park.

Safe passage

[2] The Swiss team, welcoming back the influential Christian Giménez from suspension, dominated the first half and proceeded to relax after their match-winning 53rd-minute goal, concentrating on containing their Dutch opponents and protecting their safe passage to Friday's draw. Ferencvárosi TC overcame Heart of Midlothian FC 1-0 in the other game in the section, but victory for Christian Gross's side made that result redundant.

Industrious Giménez

[3] The early period belonged emphatically to Basel with Giménez extremely lively at the outset. He zipped down the right flank in the third minute to angle in a dangerous cross that flashed across the face of goal. Soon after he switched to the other wing to combine with Julio Rossi, the man of the match in the previous encounter against Ferencváros, who in turn set up Mile Sterjovski for a header that found the target but was disallowed for offside.

Disallowed again

[4] Giménez was involved again minutes later, racing into space in the box after an incisive counterattack and unleashing a ferocious shot which Patrick Mtiliga was able to block. A second disallowed goal came in the 18th minute, Giménez poking in from close range only to be denied by the assistant's flag.

Kalou threat

[5] Feyenoord, without injured midfield player Shinji Ono and defender Karim Saidi, threatened for the first time in the 25th minute, Salomon Kalou using his strength to outmuscle marker Benjamin Huggel and drive his effort centimetres wide of the upright. Five minutes later, it was Feyenoord's turn to be denied by the assistant's flag when Thomas Buffel was stopped in his tracks after Dirk Kuijt had successfully found him inside the area.

Trio of chances

[6] Feyenoord appeared more settled in the final stages of the first half, linking their passing movements neatly in centrefield and managing to direct more balls into the box. However, it was still Basel who fashioned the better chances, Rossi forcing a sharp save from Patrick Lodewijks, Scott Chipperfield nodding a cross wide of the far post and Giménez testing the goalkeeper again with a powerful left-footed drive.

Zuberbühler save

[7] Basel emerged for the second period aiming to dominate possession and initially did so. However, the Dutch team issued a warning of their counterattacking potential in the 46th minute when Kalou made custodian Pascal Zuberbühler dive to his left to turn his accurate effort around the post.

Carignano strike

[8] That close call sparked Basel into life and in the 50th minute the home team almost broke the deadlock, Giménez latching on to an assist from Carignano and crashing a half-volley straight at Lodewijks. The same pair combined again three minutes later for the game's decisive moment, Giménez showing endeavour to lift a ball across the defence which Carignano was available to meet at the far post and head in for the all-important winner.

Basel coach Christian Gross