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Roma turn it around to down Basel

AS Roma 2-1 FC Basel 1893
Goals from talisman Francesco Totti and Mirko Vučinić helped the hosts come from behind and earn them a place in the round of 32.

Roma turn it around to down Basel
Roma turn it around to down Basel ©UEFA.com

AS Roma qualified for the UEFA Europa League round of 32 with a match to spare after coming from behind to record a 2-1 win against a valiant FC Basel 1893 side.

Strike partners
Turning on the style after a slow start, Mirko Vučinić's 59th-minute finish to a fine team move gave Roma all three points to leapfrog the Swiss side in Group E. In the first half, Francesco Totti's 32nd-minute penalty had cancelled out Benjamin Huggel's header. Basel must now avoid defeat at home to Fulham FC in their final match on 16 December to join Roma in the draw.

Deserved lead
Adopting a 4-4-2 formation, Basel began adventurously and took a deserved lead on 18 minutes. Valentin Stocker bent in a left-wing cross and skipper Huggel applied the simplest of headers at the near post. The Giallorossi suddenly upped a couple of gears and Simone Perrotta went close twice in the space of four minutes.

Penalty reward
The pressure was incessant, though, and after Cicinho lobbed a high ball into the box, Marcos Gelabert tugged back Totti. Roma's talisman picked himself up and powered his spot-kick past Stefan Wessels' left hand. Replacing injured captain Franco Costanzo, the keeper then had to pull off two spectacular saves from Vučinić and Totti to keep his team on level terms.

Brilliant move
Basel started the second half like the first and, this time, Júlio Sérgio was leaping in the air to tip over a curling Alexander Frei effort ten minutes after the break. Roma responded soon after with a brilliant move to take the lead. A series of first-time passes ended with Daniele De Rossi opening up the Basel back line for Vučinić to drill in left-footed. Thorsten Fink's side would not lie down and only Júlio Sérgio's foot from Marco Streller, and the bar from Frei, prevented a late equaliser.