Basel lose first Champions game
FC Basel have lost 2-1 to Romania’s CFR Cluj in the squad’s opening Champions League match.
Early goals by Ionut Rada and Lacina Traore were enough to give the Romanian team a victory in their home town on Wednesday evening.
Valentin Stoker pulled one back for Basel with a header in first-half injury time after a corner by Alex Frei. Despite later dominating the match, Basel were unable to break through Cluj’s defence.
CFR Cluj were Romanian Liga 1 champions for the first time in 2008. Having qualified for the group stage of the 2008-09 Champions League they caused a shock by beating Roma in their opening game, and holding Chelsea to a 0:0 draw.
FC Basel have competed in European competition every season since 1999-2000.
Cluj mayor Sorun Apostu had refused to attend the match because of what he said was an "unfair and insulting" description of the city in Swiss newspaper Blick. The paper likened Romania's fourth-largest city to the impoverished suburbs of South African cities.
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