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Friday, November 04, 2005 

Crvena Zvezda 1 - 2 Basel (Uefa Cup)

Julio Rossi rifled in a last-gasp winner as FC Basel 1893 claimed a fine comeback victory against FK Crvena Zvezda in Belgrade to earn their first points in UEFA Cup Group E.

Purović breakthrough
Rossi ran on to a pin-point pass from Matías Delgado with just two minutes remaining as Basel vanquished memories of their 2-0 defeat by RC Strasbourg on Matchday 1. It completed a well-earned turnaround after Milan Purović had given the home side the lead midway through the first half. Basel soon drew level when Delgado converted a penalty on the half-hour mark, paving the way for a thrilling win.

Empty stadium
The Belgrade side can usually bank on an impressive atmosphere at home, but after violent incidents marred their qualifying tie against NK Inter Zaprešic, UEFA decreed that the 1991 European Champion Clubs' Cup winners should start their Group E campaign in an empty stadium.

Early dominance
The absence of their fans did not appear to affect the home team, however, with Marko Perović, Nikola Žigić and Boško Janković all testing Basel goalkeeper Pascal Zuberbühler early on. At the other end, the visitors had a sole Scott Chipperfield free-kick to show for their attacking endeavour, and Crvena Zvezda took a deserved lead on 25 minutes when Purović converted with a sweet shot after being teed up by Žigić.

Delgado penalty
Purović's joy was short-lived, however, as five minutes later he conceded a penalty after handling the ball, and Delgado kept his cool to convert from the spot. So dominant before the equaliser, Crvena Zvezda eased off thereafter, with much of the game played in the middle third, but either side could have edged to victory in an exciting finish.

Basel determination
Basel striker Eduardo sent a shot just wide with 20 minutes remaining, before Radovan Krivokapić's effort sailed just over the crossbar for the home side, but it was the Swiss side which looked the most likely winners. David Degen and substitute Mladen Petrić both went close and Basel's persistence eventually paid dividends when Rossi earned a last-gasp victory.

Source: Uefa.com


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