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Report: El-Nenny, Hamoudi feature as Basel draw 1-1 with FC Porto

Hamoudi and El-Nenny

Mohamed El Nenny played the full 90 minutes, and Ahmed Hamoudi the last eight, as Basel held FC Porto to a 1-1 draw in the UEFA Champions League last 16.

With just one loss — against Real Madrid — at home in the Champions League in their last five games, the Swiss outfit were always going to be a tough opponent for FC Porto. On the contrary, however, the Portuguese side were unbeaten in all eight of their games in the competition this season, including qualifiers.

FC Basel: Tomas Vaclík; Behrang Safari, Walter Samuel, Marek Suchý, Taulant Xhaka; Luca Zuffi, Fabian Frei, Mohamed El Nenny; Shkelzen Gashi (Ahmed Hamoudi 83′), Marco Streller (Breel Embolo 63′) & Derlis González (Davide Callà 25′).

FC Porto: Fabiano; Alex Sandro, Marcano, Maicon, Danilo; Òliver Torres (Rúben Neves 68′), Casemiro, Héctor Herrera; Cristian Tello (Juan Quintero 81′), Jackson Martínez & Yacine Brahimi (Ricardo Quaresma 61′).

The opening ten minutes were far from eventful, with constant fouls by both sides making the game stop-start despite the referee Mark Clattenburg’s willingness to let the game flow.

After the opening ten minutes, the home side began to find space, and it was just a minute later when Sebastian Frei picked out the run of Derlis González to thread through an exquisite pass from the half-way line, and the Argentine forward managed to toe-poke the ball past Fabiano while falling to the ground to put the home side deservedly in front.

Porto started to take control of the game as the half progressed, and Casemiro’s header from an Òliver Torres cross after twenty minutes sparked the Portuguese side into life and Basel were on the back-foot for the remainder of the half.

Porto were denied a clear penalty just before the half hour mark; Jackson was pulled to the ground by Walter Samuel inside the six-yard box, but Clattenburg waved play-on and the Colombian international not best pleased with the decision, and nor were the fans after they seen the television replay.

Cristian Tello had a goal correctly disallowed for offside ten minutes before the break, the Barcelona loanee just strayed offside by a matter of inches.

Basel went into the interval a goal to the good, but Porto’s finish to the half suggested that they were going to throw everything at the Swiss outfit in search of the much-coveted away goal.

Just minutes after the restart, Porto were awarded a corner, which was driven into the box by Héctor Herrera and met by Maicon, who headed straight at the goalkeeper with Casemiro slotting home the loose ball.

The game was now level — or at least we thought it was, because the Portuguese side had just finished celebrating when the referee amazingly ruled the goal out because two Porto players were in offside positions and interfering with play when the goal was scored. The officials’ decision was spot on, even if it did come two minutes after the goal was scored.

Just after the hour mark, and with Porto in full control of the game, Jackson Martínez had a glorious chance to level the game up, but his control let him down, and the 28-year-old fired an awkward dipping shot over the bar from less than six-yards out.

Walter Samuel was not having a great game in defence for Basel, and the 36-year-old’s night got worse when he handled the ball inside the area. The referee pointed to the spot without hesitation, and Danilo stepped up and fired home the equaliser for the away side, and more importantly the crucial away goal.

Egypt’s Ahmed Hamoudi came on for the last eight minutes for Basel – making him and El-Nenny the first Egyptian duo to feature in the round of 16 in UEFA Champions League history – but it wasn’t enough time to exert any influence on the game.

It ended all square at full-time, and the Portuguese side will undoubtedly be red-hot favourites for the return leg in a fortnight’s time at the Estádio do Dragão.

Basel return to action on Sunday afternoon when they travel to the Swiss capital to play second place Young Boys.

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