Basel defeats Otelul Galati, 2-1

Alex Frei’s 84th-minute penalty lifted FC Basel to a 2-1 victory over Champions League newcomer Otelul Galati on Wednesday.

Frei fired his spot-kick low into the left corner of the net after Otelul defender Adrian Salageanu was shown a red card for bringing down forward Marco Streller.

Basel, playing in the group stage for the third time in four seasons, took the lead in the 39th on Fabien Frei’s header near the penalty spot from Streller’s cross.

Marius Pena leveled for the Romanians in the 58th minute, pouncing on an error by Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

Basel also finished with 10 men when Benjamin Huggel got a second yellow card in the 87th.

Otelul seized the early initiative despite having only midfielder Sorin Frunza, a substitute, with previous Champions League experience. However, the Romanian champions could not seriously trouble Sommer.

Basel went ahead when Frei timed his run perfectly to meet a left-footed cross from Streller who showed neat footwork at the byline.

Otelul started the second half brightly and Nigerian forward John Ibeh’s shot from 20 yards (meters) brought a save from Sommer diving to his left.

Sommer’s preference to parry rather than grab the ball cost him four minutes later.

Pena reacted quickly to chip the ball past the Switzerland Under-21 international, who had pushed Liviu Antal’s 20-yard (20-meter) shot back into play.

Streller seemed poised to restore Basel’s lead when he ran on to a through ball before being blocked by Salageanu’s challenge.

Otelul had a chance to level in a stoppage-time goalmouth scramble but Gabriel Paraschiv’s close-range effort was deflected wide.

Basel next travels to face Manchester United, which drew 1-1 away to Benfica on Wednesday.