Bobby Zamora scored two quick-fire goals just before half-time to set Fulham FC on their way to a 3-2 win at FC Basel 1893 and a place in the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League.
Zamora struck twice in three minutes to put the Premier League side on the front foot on a snowy night in Switzerland, and while Alexander Frei pulled one back with a second-half penalty, Zoltán Gera quickly restored Fulham's two-goal lead. However, the visitors' nerves were fraying a little in the closing stages as Marco Streller's late header gave Basel hope of a draw that would have sent them through.
Having won all five of their previous European home games this season, Basel looked a good bet to join AS Roma in Friday's round of 32 draw as one of the top two in Group E. Fulham, however, without an away win in the section, upset the form book as they took control from the outset and Danny Murphy's 20-metre shot drew a save from Massimo Colomba after five minutes.
Zamora always looked a menace, and his threat materialised on 42 minutes when he met Bjorn Helge Riise's inswinging cross with a first-time shot at the far post. In a near replica effort three minutes later, Riise found Zamora in the same position and the in-form forward this time headed past Colomba.
Zamora nearly had a hat-trick just after half-time when Colomba saved his free-kick, but Basel reduced the arrears when Frei converted a 64th-minute penalty following a handball for his fifth goal in the group stage. Federico Almerares missed a glorious chance to equalise when he misdirected a close-range header from Samuel Inkoom's low cross. Gera seemed to have made sure of the points when he scored on 77 minutes but Fulham had to survive a nerve-wracking finale after Streller's late reply.
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