Romanian champion Steaua Bucharest rescued themselves with two minutes remaining against FC Basel in Bucharest Tuesday night, a first goal of this season’s competition earning them a first point, final score 1-1, uefa.com reports. It was a dramatic end, with FC Basel 1893 having a second away victory in UEFA Champions League Group E snatched from their grasp.
A touch of class from Marcelo Diaz in 48’had given the visitors the lead and with Steaua showing little idea of how to match his finishing skills it appeared likely to be enough. Then Adrian Popa swung the ball across and substitute Leandro Tatu arrived to drive it home.
Coaches Laurentiu Reghecampf (Steaua) and Murat Yakin (Basel) both thought they deserved the three points, with each eyeing a win in the return to maintain hopes.
Reghecampf said: “This point has been obtained after a good performance by our boys. They played with total commitment, fought and created several opportunities, but there were also situations when our players should have been more clinical in front of goal. We have to admit that between Romanian football and Swiss, not to mention English and German, there is a big difference. (…) We have to be realistic and admit that our chances are slim of making second place. We are the bottom-ranked side with only one point and we will have to win in Basel [on 6 November]. We are capable of scoring more goals than them, but this will be possible only if we are cleverer and we have some luck.
Murat Yakin, Basel coach: “From my point of view we dropped two points. We imposed our game, we created several opportunities, but we missed them. We had the chance to make it 2-0 and end the match, but we wasted it and twice they cleared the ball off the line. I would not say that our performance declined in the second half – we were not passive at all. In fact Steaua, who proved that they can play quality football, reacted and sent on two attacking players early in the second half. They gambled and it meant we couldn’t be entirely sure of ourselves”.
Iasmin Latovlevici regretted the error that brought about Marcelo Diaz’s 48th-minute opener for the Swiss champions in Bucharest, but believed the positive climax symbolised by Leandro Tatu’s late equaliser will ensure his team are in better shape for the return fixture. For Basel there was also frustration at not seeing the game out, with Yann Sommer blaming a lack of concentration and organisation.
In the other game of the group Shalke – Chelsea 0-3.