West London football side Fulham have defeated Basel 3-2, putting an end to the Swiss team’s hopes of advancing into the final 32 of the Europa League.
Basel needed only a draw to advance from Group E but trailed 2-0 after Bobby Zamora scored twice in the last three minutes of the first half.
Alex Frei cut the English side's lead with a 64th-minute penalty but Fulham – whose coach Roy Hodgson used to be the Swiss national team’s coach – went on the attack at snowy St Jakob’s Park.
Zoltan Gera was left in space near the penalty spot to place a 77th-minute shot into the bottom corner. Basel managed to cut the margin of victory late in the game with Marco Streller's header, but it was not enough.
“We lacked drive and fighting spirit,” said Basel coach Thorsten Fink. “We were too shy at the beginning of the match. Fulham were the best team on the night and deserved their victory. I’m nevertheless proud of our performance during this campaign.”
The Europa League is the second European football competition after the Champion’s League. The top two from the 12 groups qualify for the knockout stages, where the third-placed teams from the eight Champions League groups will also feature.
swissinfo.ch and agencies