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Basel keep their European hopes alive

Outsiders FC Basel pulled off another unexpected success in the Champions League on Wednesday night, drawing 1-1 away with Benfica Lisbon.

The draw keeps alive Basel’s hopes of reaching the last 16, despite playing in a group that contains not only Benfica, but also Manchester United.

The Swiss team are only three points behind the two favourites, who are tied at the top, having already drawn 3-3 away at Manchester.

Wednesday’s game started badly for Basel, whose prospects looked dim even before it started. Captain Marco Streller was sick and unable to travel to Portugal, and at the last minute another star, former national team captain Alex Frei, had to drop out with an inflamed tendon in his knee.

Rodrigo scored for Benfica in the fourth minute, and the home side dominated the first 15 minutes of the match. But their game dropped off after that, and Basel took full advantage. Huggel scored the equaliser in the 64th minute.

FC Basel lost their home match to Benfica 0-2 in October.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR