After a last-gasp Giovanni Sio goal earned FC Basel 1893 a crucial 1-1 draw with FC Steaua Bucureşti, Marco Streller expressed his relief, saying: "The first half was a catastrophe."
With the Swiss title holders now within a point of FC Schalke 04, whom Basel visit next month after the home match with UEFA Champions League Group E leaders Chelsea FC, Streller is ready for the challenge. Meanwhile, having missed the chance to end a 21-game winless run in this competition, Steaua's Florin Gardoş was clearly frustrated.
Marco Streller, Basel forward
The first half was a catastrophe for us because we couldn't get down the wings and it was very congested in the middle of the field; we couldn't get through and they were very competitive. It just didn't work for us. But I'm happy we got the draw and now we have to get on with things.
We had the individual class and Giovanni Sio's goal for the equaliser showed that; it was a good cross from [Valentin] Stocker as well. Normally we would expect to have to win both [remaining] matches against Chelsea and Schalke to progress. To beat Chelsea, we will have to be at least as good as we were in London and then we'll have the chance of a 'final' against Schalke.
Kay Voser, Basel defender
Of course, I'm very happy that we managed to get a draw because we were not at our best tonight. But we fought and earned a way back and that's why we picked up a point. It is hard to explain the match because we never got to grips with it.
We understand the frustrations of the supporters because they have high expectations of us after our performances in the last few years. But we need to improve if we are to have a chance against Chelsea, although we have an international break coming up and I'm sure we can put things right then. There is a good atmosphere in the dressing room, everybody fights for one another, but we must be stronger in the next game.
Florin Gardoş, Steaua defender
We are very disappointed, because we conceded the goal in the 90th or 92nd minute. We are very upset. Even though they had possession of the ball longer than us, I cannot remember them having a huge opportunity. We created some good chances in the first half and many counterattacks in the second. Unfortunately, they were not successful.
[The coach] didn't say much. He was very upset of course, because of the goal we conceded in such a stupid way. We had possession of the ball and we could have played it out, in order to gain more time. We still have a very small chance, but a victory today could have secured us second place – were we to win at home to Schalke. We will move forward and play for a victory against Schalke.
[Basel] were not a weaker team but they were less threatening to us. In the first half they missed a lot of passes. I should say that the grass on the pitch also put us into difficulties. But overall I think we would have deserved more today.
Tactically we played a very good game. The problem was that we did not take advantage of those counterattacks. I myself created a very good opportunity in the first half, but I couldn't score. It is a pity, of course, we should have scored more. We had a lot of chances.
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