Maccabi Tel Aviv ended their European campaign after losing 3-0 to FC Basel. Marco Streller scored a brace after Valentin Stocker's opener

Maccabi Tel Aviv's admirable Europa League campaign came to an end this evening after losing to FC Basel 3-0 in the competition's knockout round of 32. The visitor's arrived at Basel's St. Jakob-Park in search of an away goal that would see the Swiss champions chasing the contest, but in the end it was the Israeli champions that did most of the chasing in a match that marked Basel's 200th appearance in European competition.

בן הרוש

In the warm-up before the match, Maccabi's experienced striker and anticipated starter Barak Itzhaki tore his cruciate ligament and was replaced in the line-up by winger Omri Altman. The half opened with the two sides in balance, punctuated only in the 16th minute by a long-range effort by Basel's Ivorian midfielder Serey Die that sailed high over the Maccabi net. Two minutes later though a cross into the area from Iranian born Swedish defender Behrang Safari reached midfielder Valentin Stocker, who headed the ball powerfully toward the goal. Keeper Juan Pablo managed to get a glove to it but could not prevent the ball from penetrating the Maccabi net to give Basel a 1-0 advantage. Just past the half hour mark, Basel captain Marco Streller had a go from inside the area but his shot went wide. Ten minutes later Stocker tried his luck once again, but his shot too missed its target.


Just over ten minutes after the restart Basel's Czech defender Marek Suchy sent a powerful free kick from outside the area flying past Juan Pablo's far post. A minute later came Maccabi's first real opportunity of the match, starting with a pass from midfielder Eran Zahavi that found Remi Maravel free down the left. The French born defender sent a cross into the area that was deflected by Basel keeper Yann Sommer into the path of Maharan Radi, but the Maccabi midfielder's shot too was deflected for a corner. Three minutes later Basel's Die broke down the left and sent a cross into the area that found Marco Streller, who skillfully headed past Juan Pablo to double Basel's advantage. The Swiss champions continued to press forward and nineteen minutes from time a series of headers in the area finished with Streller once again heading past Juan Pablo to the far post, where it ricocheted back into the goal to finish off the night's scoring at 3-0. Maccabi's substitute winger Tal Ben Haim made a late effort to pull one back for the visitors, but his shot from the right ahead of striker Rade Prica wound up in the arms of the Basel keeper.


Maccabi Tel Aviv may have ended their travails in Europe, but this Sunday at 9pm they return once again to league duties to face Hapoel Ra'anana away at Netanya Stadium.