Maccabi Tel Aviv were left frustrated by the Swiss champions as they were held to a goalless draw in Tel Aviv, though meaning they only need a score draw to qualify for the last 16.
Europa League Round of 32 First Leg
Maccabi Tel Aviv 0 FC Basel 0
Thursday, 21 February, 2014
Striker Barak Itzhaki brought a save out of the Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer early on, while the visitors spurned the only other notable chance of the first 45 minutes when Gastón Sauro headed the ball into the hands of Juan Pablo in the Tel Aviv goal.
Fabian Frei came off the bench for the Swiss in the second half, and saw his inviting free-kick beat everyone in the box, as well as the far post.
Eran Zahavi came closest to giving Tel Aviv a priceless lead to defend in Switzerland next week, though was denied by a last-gasp block, and even though the home side piled on the pressure late on, they weren’t able to force the breakthrough, ahead of the second leg next Thursday evening.