FC Basel 2-2 Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Eran Zahavi headed an equaliser deep in added time to give Maccabi a draw against the run of play not long after Breel Embolo had scored.
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- Eran Zahavi equalises six minutes into added time for Maccabi
- Breel Embolo's 88th-minute goal seemed to have given Basel deserved win
- Zahavi had given Maccabi a surprise lead in game Basel dominated
- Matías Delgado soon equalises from penalty spot after he himself is fouled
- Second leg on Tuesday
Eran Zahavi headed an equaliser deep into added time to give Maccabi Tel-Aviv a great chance of a second UEFA Champions League group stage return just as Breel Embolo seemed to have ensured Basel would have a play-off lead to take to Israel.
Basel, going into this first leg having won all eight of their competitive matches this season, were on top from the off, Marc Janko stretching but just failing to connect with Behrang Safari's cross among a host of early chances. However, Janko was soon forced off by injury to be replaced by Shkelzen Gashi, Embolo now pushed up as lone striker.
The home side, who beat Maccabi here twice in knocking them out of both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League in 2013/14, remaining seemingly in control. But on 31 minutes Eran Zahavi pounced for the visitors to turn in a low free-kick from the left by former Zürich man Avraham Rikan.
Just eight minutes later, though, Basel equalised. Matías Delgado was tripped in the box by Tal Ben Haim I and, after a quick tie of his shoelaces, the home captain stepped up to convert.
The second half began like the first, with Basel dominant, as Gashi had a header blocked. But shots on target were rare and Delgado was replaced by Jean-Paul Boëtius, making his Basel debut following his move from Feyenoord earlier this month. The home side suffered another injury in Behrang Safari, not long after Maccabi's Nosa Igiebor was also forced off.
Daniel Høegh headed in for Basel but William Collum, fresh from refereeing last week's UEFA Super Cup, had already blown for a foul. Zahavi set up Tal Ben Haim II, but his shot was deflected over, and Embolo eventually made Maccabi pay after breaking clear from Mohamed Elneny's pass. It was nearly 3-1 but Juan Pablo tipped over Gashi's header and at the other end Zahavi rose to meet a cross from Dor Miha for his competition-leading sixth goal of the season.
Urs Fischer, Basel coach
If after two games we have not made it, then we will not have deserved it. But what good does it do for you to have been highly superior, if you then draw 2-2 at the end? They played a very defensive match, but they were there in attack two times and capitalised on our mistakes. We controlled Eran Zahavi over 90 minutes but then made two decisive mistakes.
Slaviša Jokanović, Maccabi coach
We did not play brilliantly. But we worked hard and carved out this gift, not really a gift, but that goal we scored in the last minute. We now have a great chance in front of us to make it in Tel Aviv. Half the work is done, we put in great work. I am sure we will have a full stadium in Tel Aviv. We have to play this with a clear head and be smart to make this final important step.