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Basel fails to qualify for UEFA Cup

David Ginola of Aston Villa scoring the fourth goal against FC Basel


Basel has fallen at the final hurdle in their quest to get into the UEFA Cup for the second time by losing 4-1 against Aston Villa in Birmingham. After a 1-1 draw in the first half, Aston fought back with a vengeance in the second half.

In front of almost 40,000 spectators in the Villa Park stadium in Birmingham, Christian Gross' team took the lead after Scott Chipperfield scored a goal in the 30th minute. However, shortly before half time Aston Villa's Darius Vassell equalised the match after connecting with a well-placed pass from David Ginola.

In the second half of the match the Colombian striker Juan Pablo Angel struck hard and scored two goals within 24 minutes, before David Ginola consolidated Villa's lead seven minutes from the final whistle.

Two other Swiss teams will be looking to go one better than Basel this week. On Wednesday Grasshoppers Zurich hope to book a place in the Champions League by overcoming FC Porto in the final qualifying round , and on Thursday St Gallen take a 2-0 lead into the home leg of their UEFA Cup qualifier against Macedonian side FK Pelister."

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