Valentin Stocker and Granit Xhaka scored in each half as FC Basel 1893 defeated Debreceni VSC in Hungary to take a huge step towards the UEFA Champions League play-offs.
Already leading through Stocker's deflected opener in the 34th minute, Basel possibly made this third qualifying round tie safe deep into added time as 17-year-old substitute Xhaka found the net in superb style. Group-stage contenders last season, Debrecen are left needing both a marked improvement and a convincing victory at St. Jakob-Park next Wednesday to remain in the competition.
The sides traded opportunities in the opening stages as Franco Costanzo in the visiting goal repelled an Adamo Coulibaly volley shortly before Alexander Frei nodded Samuel Inkoom's right-wing cross just wide of the left-hand post.
Coulibaly then teed up Péter Czvitkovics only for the Debrecen No77 to drill his shot from ten metres against his team-mate, while Xherdan Shaqiri passed up the clearest opening at that stage by heading at Debrecen goalkeeper István Verpecz from close range.
Stocker showed them how to do it, however, as he collected a pass from Jacques Zoua and drilled it left-footed into the bottom corner with the help of a deflection. Shaqiri (60) and Stocker (69) were almost made to pay for failing to extend the advantage late on as József Varga jinked his way through the Basel defence only to toe-poke his shot at Costanzo.
Instead, the second goal went the way of Xhaka and the Swiss champions. Having only replaced Stocker in the 88th minute, the teenager tried his luck from 25 metres and was rewarded with a goal to remember.
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