Burger wins with Basel at Fiorentina, dream European final alive
Where AZ lost 2-1 at West Ham United, the other Conference League semifinal between Fiorentina and FC Basel ended in a surprising victory for the Swiss. It was 2-1 in Florence thanks to an injury-time goal by Zeki Amdouni.
Burger in the base
Fiorentina is eighth in the Italian league, Basel is Switzerland’s current number five. Both teams featured a former Feyenoord player in the starting lineup. At Basel the 22-year-old midfielder Wouter Burger, who played at Feyenoord in youth and came to ten games in the first. He left for Switzerland in 2021.
At Fiorentina, Dutch-born Morocco international Sofyan Amrabat started. He transferred from FC Utrecht to Feyenoord in 2017, but left for Club Brugge a year later. There he found the way up in his career again, to end up at Fiorentina in 2020.
From the first second, Basel leaned back and let the Italians come. This did not lead to any major chances. Indeed, the first time Basel came out well in the nineteenth minute they had the first big chance, but Fiorentina goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano prevented a surprising deficit.
From a corner Arthur Cabral headed in the 1-0 for Fiorentina in the 25th minute. The Brazilian refused to cheer against the club he played for for 2.5 years before switching to the Florence club last year.
In the second half, the pattern of play changed and it was another corner that caused danger, this time from the Swiss. Burger headed the ball just wide of the cross via the ground, on the wrong side for him. The game then went up and down, but still Basel’s equalizer came out of the blue.
The 19-year-old Frenchman Andy Diouf rebounded the ball with a teammate on the center line, dribbled toward the Italian goal and calmly slid the ball into the goal from 20 yards: 1-1. It gave the Swiss citizen renewed courage. Seven minutes before time, a Basel corner kick was dangerous again, but the ball went just wide.
Basel picks up victory
Fiorentina failed to create chances in the second half and the Swiss frustrated the Italians more and more. Things got even worse for the home crowd when Basel took their first lead of the game in the 92nd minute. Swiss international Amdouni fired in the 2-1 from close range; that was all that remained in Florence.
Next Thursday is the return game in Basel.