Astonishment last night at the Artemio Franchi, FC Basel made an incredible comeback in the UEFA Europa Conference League semi-final against Fiorentina. Pivotal goals from Andy Diouf and Zeki Amdouni in the last quarter of the game turned the tables, bringing Basel one step closer to becoming the first Swiss team to enter a major European final.
Early Scare and Fiorentina’s Initial Lead
The match started off with a near miss from Jean-Kevin Augustin, which was dismissed due to an offside offense. This was followed by Arthur Cabral’s successful strike for Fiorentina, with a crucial assist from Lucas Martínez Quarta. This sent Fiorentina to the lead and gave Cabral the title of the competition’s leading scorer with seven goals.
We played a good game. Teams like Basel know how to take their chances.Vincenzo Italiano, Fiorentina’s coach
Basel’s Unanticipated Comeback
With 71 minutes on the clock and Basel trailing, it looked like Fiorentina had the game in their hands. But then came the moment that changed it all. Diouf, in a stunning display of skill and composure, managed to equalize after receiving a pass from goalkeeper Marwin Hitz and playing a one-two with Taulant Xhaka.
Diouf’s equaliser was a brilliant solo effort, and that Amdouni effort in added time is perhaps more than coach Heiko Vogel dared to dream of.Basel reporter Jürgen Baumgartner
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A Shocking Climax
With Fiorentina still reeling from the shock equalizer, Amdouni seized the opportunity to deal a devastating blow. Basel’s triumph was sealed when Amdouni side-footed a winner in the dying moments of the game.
Taulant [Xhaka] asked me ahead of the free-kick before the second goal if we should play for the draw, but I said no: we want the 2-1. And then it really happened, that’s just amazing.Heiko Vogel, Basel’s coach
This win has elevated Basel’s status in the competition, with the team now having won their last three away European fixtures against Italian teams.
Fiorentina, despite being the top scorers of the Europa Conference League season with 33 goals, are left to rethink their strategy. The Italian side now has a challenging task ahead as they prepare to face Basel in the second leg next Thursday.
Basel, on the other hand, are just a clean sheet away from the final in Prague. They have managed to stir a sense of hope and excitement among their fans, who are now looking forward to the possibility of a major European final.
As we wait for the next encounter, one thing is certain: the UEFA Europa Conference League has once again proven to be a breeding ground for thrilling matches and stunning turnarounds.
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