It was Kasim Adams of all people who got it right in the 98th minute. He scored with a header to make it 2-1 for FC Basel. With that, the defender more than made up for the mistake that left him behind in the 10th minute.
Nice then threw everything forward again, but the southern French were unable to equalize. They came closest in the 108th minute when a free kick landed on the crossbar. In the end, the Basel team celebrated, who ten years after reaching the semi-finals in the Europa League again managed a European exploit.
For a long time, little had pointed to this. As in the round of 16 second leg in Bratislava, FCB were overwhelmed by the opponent’s pace at the start of the game. In addition, the French knew how to put pressure on Basel early on in the build-up game and provoke mistakes.
Less than ten minutes had been played when Adams, who went on to score the goal, was surprised by an opponent lurking behind him and allowed the ball to be taken from the edge of his own penalty area. This finally ended up with Gaëtan Laborde, whose shot was easily but decisively deflected. Marwin Hitz had no chance.
There was no reaction from the guests for the time being. Nice controlled the game and let the Basler run with changes of sides. When the ball was in possession for a long time, the guests usually seemed unimaginative. There was a lack of penetrating power on the outer lanes, and accuracy in the center. Only once did the fans at the Stade de Nice take their breath away: In the 28th minute, Zeki Amdouni took a shot from a tight angle and the ball swept past Andi Zeqiri, who only had to put his foot away.
Even in the second half it was not clear for a long time that Basel should score at least one goal. The offensive department was already completely signed off in midfield, while the attackers from Nice at least set a few pinpricks. Nevertheless, coach Heiko Vogel waited until the 72nd minute before making the first changes. He brought on Riccardo Calafiori and Jean-Kévin Augustin, proving he had a golden touch.
A good quarter of an hour later, Calafiori headed Augustin, who scored almost out of nowhere to make it 1-1 and brought Basel back into the game. Euphoric about the goal, Basel almost made it 2-1 four minutes later. Zeki Amdouni’s finish, however, hit the post.
A flaw that no longer bothered anyone in the end. In the semifinals there is a duel with Fiorentina and the former crowd favorite Arthur Cabral. Basel will only play away on May 11th, on May 18th the second leg will take place in St. Jakob-Park.
Nice – Basel 1:2 (1:1, 1:0) n.V.
SR Bold (NED). – Tor: 9. Laborde (Ramsey) 1:0. 86. Augustine (Calafiori) 1:1. 98. Adams (Males) 1:2.
Nice: Schmeichel; Ndayishimiye (115. Belahyane), Todibo, Dante; Mendy (73. Rosario), Ramsey, Boudaoui (87. Brahimi), Thuram, Bard (73. Amraoui); Laborde, Moffi (73. Pepper).
Basel: Hitz; Lang, Adams, Pelmard; Ndoye (120. Fink), Diouf, Xhaka (106. Essiam), Burger (72. Augustine), Millar (72. Calafiori); Amdouni, Zekir (83. Males).
Remarks: Nice ao without Lotomba (injured). Basel without Lopez (suspended), Comas and Frei (both injured). Cautions: 32nd Ndoye, 38th Dante. 56. Boudaoui. 59. Bard. 90. Ramsey. 91. Pepe. 105. Thuram. 115. Long. 90. Post shot Amdouni. 108. Crossbar Brahimi.