Basel beats CSKA 2-0 to extend strong Champions League start

October 18, 2017

Basel's Taulant Xhaka celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's first goal during the Champions League Group A soccer match between CSKA Moscow and Basel in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

MOSCOW (AP) — Basel continued a strong start to its Champions League campaign with a 2-0 win at CSKA Moscow on Wednesday.

The Swiss champion sits second in Group A on six points, behind only Manchester United, which beat Benfica 1-0 in Wednesday’s other game to stay perfect.

Taulant Xhaka scored the opening goal of the game in the 29th minute. CSKA lost the ball in the center of the pitch and Xhaka took full advantage, charging through the opposition half before unleashing a fierce strike to the bottom-left corner.

Basel was aggrieved not to be given a second in the 51st when Albian Ajeti put the ball into the net, only for his celebrations to be cut short by an offside call.

CSKA left large gaps at the back as it pushed forward, allowing Basel substitute Dimitri Oberlin to use his speed to burst through the defense and score his team’s second goal in the 90th. It was something of a redemption for Oberlin, who had missed two good chances in the five minutes leading up to his goal.

CSKA failed to register a single shot on target against a Basel defense which has now gone five games in all competitions without conceding a single goal. The Russian team came closest to leveling the score when Mario Fernandes missed the target from a good position in the 76th.

CSKA is third in Group A with three points and Benfica is last with no points.


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