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Ferati says 'anything is possible' for Basel

Beg Ferati insisted "anything is possible" after a 1-0 Group E victory against CFR 1907 Cluj left FC Basel 1893 with a slim chance of reaching the knockout phase on Matchday 6.

Basel defender Beg Ferati
Basel defender Beg Ferati ©Getty Images

FC Basel 1893 defender Beg Ferati insisted "anything is possible" following Tuesday's 1-0 UEFA Champions League home victory against CFR 1907 Cluj.

The Swiss titleholders are now guaranteed at least third place in Group E but face an uphill struggle to reach the Round of 16 after qualification rivals AS Roma beat FC Bayern München 3-2 in the section's other match. "You never know, we might win at Bayern," said a hopeful Ferati.

Aside from the three points, Thorsten Fink's charges recorded a first clean sheet in 14 UEFA Champions League outings. "We were very focused and managed to stop Cluj hitting us on the counter," continued Ferati. "We worked very hard defensively. It's always good if you can win games without conceding. The whole team did a really good job."

The hosts rarely looked in danger of relinquishing the lead given them by Federico Almerares's 15th-minute goal, with striker Alexander Frei explaining: "I don't think Cluj had a single shot on goal. We stayed on our feet in and around the box and that made it hard for them to find a way through. It would have been nice to get a second goal to calm things but at least we got a second win."

Zambian international Fwayo Tembo came closest to sealing Basel's success when his deflected shot rebounded off the crossbar on the hour. The 21-year-old shone on the right of midfield in place of the suspended Valentin Stocker, winning the UEFA.com Player Rater award for his efforts. "It was good to get my first start and obviously being voted man of the match is no mean feat," said Tembo. "You have to give everything you've got for the team to win."

Centre-back Ferati was full of praise for the energetic youngster. "Fwayo played really well," he said. "He's very quick and they had big problems with him because of his strength. He's technically excellent and he worked really hard in both attack and defence."

Meanwhile, CFR Cluj were left pondering their premature exit from the competition after the defeat consigned them to last place in the standings. Substitute Emmanuel Koné remained upbeat, claiming his colleagues were simply happy to be competing at this level: "We have to accept that in a group this strong, we were the worst team. Still it's not over yet. We have our final match against Roma and want to put in a good showing. We don't get to play teams like that every day."

Basel must now beat Bayern in Munich and hope CFR Cluj do them a favour by winning at home to Roma. A tall order perhaps, but Tembo is eagerly anticipating further European nights whatever happens on 8 December. "We're looking forward to going to Bayern. I'm sure it won't be easy but we'll do our best. If we don't make it, then we'll look forward to playing in the Europa League instead."