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Slick Stocker gives Basel slender lead

FC Basel 1893 1-0 Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC
Valentin Stocker scored the only goal of the game, and the Swiss champions may feel a little short-changed by their narrow margin of victory.

Slick Stocker gives Basel slender lead
Slick Stocker gives Basel slender lead ©UEFA.com

A 39th-minute strike from Valentin Stocker provided FC Basel 1893 with the most slender of leads in their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie against Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC.

Basel dominated the game and on the balance of play might have merited a more substantial advantage. However, Stocker's goal was all they had to show for their efforts, the 24-year-old beating Maccabi goalkeeper Juan Pablo with a low strike after Marcelo Díaz directed the ball into his path from Philipp Degen's throw-in.

The Swiss champions looked dangerous throughout the first half. Degen was given the freedom to penetrate the defence with some clever runs down the right, Díaz dictated the pace through the centre and Stocker provided the visitors with a constant headache on the left. The winger's goal, when it came, looked like it might be the first of many.

Basel came close to adding a second six minutes after the break when Yoav Ziv deflected Mohamed Salah's cross from the left past his own keeper. However, the Maccabi left-back recovered in time to clear before the ball could cross the line. Salah later found himself in space after a defensive error but instead of taking Juan Pablo on he tried to lob the goalkeeper from distance and put his effort just wide.

The visitors' best chance to take something from the match came 20 minutes from the end when Rade Prica broke into the penalty area on the left. The Swedish veteran's effort left FCB keeper Yann Sommer beaten but only found the crossbar.