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Basel battle back to hold Genk

FC Basel 1893 2-2 KRC Genk
Two down against the Group G leaders with 20 minutes left, Basel had a Marco Streller penalty and header to thank for their second successive draw.

Basel's Marcelo Díaz competes with Derick Katuku Tshimanga
Basel's Marcelo Díaz competes with Derick Katuku Tshimanga ©AFP/Getty Images

KRC Genk are a point clear atop UEFA Europa League Group G despite surrendering a two-goal advantage at FC Basel 1893.

The Belgian club had already claimed one Swiss scalp this season, defeating FC Luzern 3-2 on aggregate in the play-offs, and they looked good value to add a second after Benjamin De Ceulaer's tenth-minute opener. Jelle Vossen doubled their lead before the break, but Marco Streller struck twice in the closing 20 minutes to make it two draws from two for the hosts.

Manchester United FC and FC Bayern München, no less, lost at St. Jakob-Park last season, but Genk did not look in danger of befalling a similar fate until the very closing stages. One opportunist Valentin Stocker effort aside, first-half poise and invention belonged exclusively to the visitors. Their opening goal may have been ultimately fortuitous – Vossen's missed toe-poke wrong-footing Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer – but it was deservedly born of De Ceulaer's deft through ball.

Genk's No23 nearly added a second with a fizzing shot on the half-hour, before reassuming the role of creative spark with a stylish back-heel which Vossen greeted with a clinical first-time finish from the edge of the penalty area.

Though Alexander Frei should have halved Basel's arrears with a point-blank header just before the interval, Basel needed a break. With time and ideas running out, though, Heiko Vogel's team were handed an unexpected lifeline when Streller converted from the spot on 70 minutes. Kalidou Koulibaly was adjudged to be the guilty party, penalised for a high foot in the penalty area.

Basel had managed just two wins in nine games prior to this contest but were suddenly galvanised, and they showed admirable resolve to draw level through Streller's emphatic header with five minutes left.