FC Basel seal first-leg victory as Egyptian duo help down Maccabi Tel Aviv
FC Basel won the first-leg of their UEFA Champions League qualifying round tie against Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv with the help of their Egyptian duo in a 1-0 victory.
Prior to the game there was speculation on whether or not the two Egyptians would feature against the Israeli side. A poll taken by KingFut showed that 64% of voters felt Salah and El-Nenny should play in both legs, despite the ‘difficult’ trip to Israel. However, Mohamed Salah refused to greet the Israeli side, avoiding the the pre-match handshakes to apparently change his boots.
FC Basel started brightly, putting pressure on the Israeli side’s defense until Valentin Stocker gave Basel the lead in the 39th minute after some good build up play.
Salah, who was constantly getting into dangerous positions, was directly involved in the goal. Salah played a one-two with Streller before finding Marcelo Diaz, who back-heeled it into Valentin Stocker before the Swiss international fired home.
Just before the half-time whistle blew Salah had a venomous volley from inside the box which appeared to be blocked by a defender’s stomach, but there were huge appeals for a handball.
Salah was very animated in the second-half and made some great runs and plays, including nearly assisted Maccabi Tel Aviv in scoring an own goal. After some good play down the left-wing he whipped in a cross that beat the keeper and was poorly controlled by the Maccabi defender. The ball would have rolled into the back of the net but for a brilliant goal-line clearance.
The 21-year-old Egypt international wasted an excellent chance when he was through on goal in the 75th minute and attempted to chip the goal keeper from 25 yards, but was just wide
Mohamed El-Nenny played well controlling the midfield. He played a number of good balls into the box and on occasion linked up well with Salah before being replaced by Raul Bobadilla in the 76th minute.
Mohamed Salah was eventually replaced on the 87th minute by Stephan Andrist.
FC Basel are set to play the return leg on Tuesday 6th August at 7pm (Egyptian time) in Tel Aviv, but it remains unclear if Basel’s Pharaohs will travel to Israel.
Follow @EgyptianPlayers – Ahmad Yousef
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