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Maccabi revival comes too late to halt Basel

Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC 3-3 FC Basel 1893 (agg: 3-4)
The Swiss champions withstood a stirring fightback to earn a narrow aggregate win over Paulo Sousa's side.

Maccabi revival comes too late to halt Basel
Maccabi revival comes too late to halt Basel ©UEFA.com

FC Basel 1893 survived a stirring fightback by Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC to secure a 3-3 draw in Israel and, with it, qualification for the play-off stage of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League courtesy of their 1-0 first-leg victory.

Basel looked to be home and dry after racing into a 3-0 lead in Tel Aviv, Fabian Schär, Mohamed Salah and Marcelo Díaz all netting inside the first 32 minutes from what proved the visitors' only three shots on target. But Murat Yakin's men were made to sweat as Maccabi, urged on by the home crowd, hit back through a Schär own goal, Eran Zahavi and – after the interval – Maharan Radi.

The frantic tone had been set after just four minutes at Bloomfield, Sheran Yeini conceding a penalty for a trip on Valentin Stocker. Schär made no mistake from the spot. The Swiss champions then doubled their advantage through Salah, who was rewarded for his opportunism following a Zahavi error. When Díaz beat Maccabi keeper Juan Pablo for a third time with a long-range drive, the third qualifying round tie appeared over as a contest.

Within two minutes Maccabi had pulled a goal back, however, Schär bundling the ball into his own net after Yann Sommer had spilled a Barak Itzhaki strike. A fine finish from Zahavi three minutes later ensured the Israeli title holders went into the break with hope replenished. Parity would be restored on the night when Radi pounced on a loose ball moments before the hour mark but Paulo Sousa's side's momentum then faded – meaning it was Basel, and not Maccabi, who moved a step closer to a place in the group stage.