Report: Salah scores as Egypt duo help Basel reach Europa League semi-finals
Mohamed Salah scored his first goal on a European stage and El-Nenny battled hard throughout a tense 120 minutes to help FC Basel best Tottenham in the second-leg of the Europa League quarter-final, to reach the semi-finals for the first time in the club’s history after penalties.
Mohamed El-Nenny and Salah both started at a very wet St. Jakob Park as Basel went into the second-leg of the Europa league quarter-final as slight favourites after managing a 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane last Thursday. El-Nenny was in a central role alongside Serey Die whilst Salah played on the wings.
The game started very scrappy, with both sides struggling to find momentum. Tottenham were the stronger of the two sides early on as Clint Dempsey took the lead in the 23rd minute. Jan Vertonghen played a ball down the middle and Basel centre-back Aleksander Dragovic made a mess of the simple clearance allowing Dempsey to run behind him before dribbling around the stationary goalkeeper Yann Sommer to slot home.
Under a lot of pressure in regards to his finishing after missing numerous chances in the first-leg. Mohamed Salah was determined to score his first European goal today, even promising last week that he would. In the 27th minute he stuck to his word as he equalized after Basel disposed Moussa Dembele and countered quickly. Marco Streller picked the ball and laid it off to Salah who was running in from the right before poking the ball into the bottom right corner, beating veteran American goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
The game really livened up following the equalizer. El-Nenny dominated midfield and played a more defensive role as Tottenham pushed forward. Soon after half time Aleksander Dragovic took the lead for FC Basel heading a swinging corner from Valentine Stocker into the goal.
Tottenham pushed hard for a last minute equalizer and it came in the 81st minute courtesy of Dempsey’s second goal of the game. He managed to control a long ball taken from a Tom Huddlestone and powered home from inside the six-yard box after some poor defending from Basel.
In the 89th minute Tottenham defender Vertonghen was sent off after given a straight red card for tackling Streller, who was played through on goal by Salah.
After full time the game was still 2-2 and level 4-4 on aggregate, since away goals were also equal, extra time commenced. Both teams were evidently tired with their sloppy passing throughout the additional half-hour but El-Nenny and Salah continued to impress in their own ways. El-Nenny launched a trademark shot on goal from 30-yards that hit Friedel’s post. Mohamed Salah was substituted in the 111th minute to a standing ovation for Basel legend Alexander Frei. Salah had showed signs of fatigue after his impressive shift for the Swiss side.
FC Basel pilled on the pressure and pushed for the winning goal but couldn’t find the back of Tottenham’s net in extra time as penalties became the deciding factor. The first penalty was taken by Fabian Schar who powered home. Tom Huddlestone took Tottenham’s first but to the delight of the Basel fans Stommer denied him with a strong save. Marco Streller scored Basel’s second as Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the Spurs’ first. Fabian Frei then scored Basel’s third while Emmanuel Adebayor shot high into the stands after a stuttering run. Marco Diaz scored the final spot-kick to send Basel through to the semi-finals of a European competition for the first time in the club’s history after winning 4-1 on penalties.
Basel will next play Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Europa League.
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