Basel and FC Porto played out a 1-1 draw on Wednesday in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 clash at St. Jakob Park in Switzerland.
Basel took the lead through Derlis Gonzalez’ brave finish but a dominant Porto outfit equalized from the penalty spot through Danilo in the closing stages to grab a crucial away goal in the battle of two UCL outsiders.
[ RELATED: Champions League schedule ]
In the 11th minute Basel took the lead through Gonzalez. Fabian Frei drove a delightful ball forward which Gonzalez latched onto and then slid the finish home bravely to put Basel 1-0 up.
Minute later Gonzalez had to be replaced as the injury he sustained when scoring the goal meant he couldn’t carry on. That disrupted Basel, as Porto dominated possession but could not create any clear cut chances.
In the 32nd minute Walter Samuel was a lucky boy as Basel’s Argentine center back looked to have hauled Porto striker Jackson Martinez to the ground but referee Mark Clattenburg waved away penalty calls, despite Samuel looking to have committed a clear foul.
At the start of the second half there was real drama as Casemiro appeared to head home a corner to make it 1-1, but Clattenburg and his English officiating crew ruled out the goal for offside as two Porto players stood in front of Basel’s goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik. Porto’s players were furious but the decision looked to be the correct one as Basel held onto their lead.
Christian Tello and Martinez both went close in the second half as Porto continued to pile on the pressure but Basel held firm.
However with just 11 minutes to go Clattenburg awarded a penalty kick to Porto, after Samuel handled a cross (somewhat accidentally) as he slide in with an attempted block. Danilo stepped up and slotted home the spot kick confidently. 1-1.
Late on Porto pushed for the winner their performance deserved, but Basel held onto the 1-1 to take with them to the Estadio do Dragao in the second leg.
Basel: Vaclik, Xhaka, Suchy, Samuel, Safari, Elneny, Frei, Gonzalez (Calla, 25′), Zuffi, Gashi (Hamoudi, 83′), Streller (Embolo, 63′)
FC Porto: Fabiano, Danilo, Maicon, Marcano Sierra, Alex Sandro, Herrera, Casemiro, Oliver (Neves, 68′), Tello (Quintero, 81′), Martinez, Brahimi (Quaresma, 61′)
Goal: Danilo (79′)