Basel break Heerenveen's resistance
FC Basel went through to the UEFA Intertoto Cup semi-finals at the expense of SC Heerenveen after winning 3-2 at the Abe Lenstra stadium on Saturday. The Swiss side ended up 5-3 aggregate winners as they saw off early Heerenveen pressure to claim a double over the Dutch side.
A Romano Denneboom header just missed the target early on for Heerenveen, trailing 2-1 from the first leg, before Marcus Allbäck struck seconds later to get the home team back into the tie. The Swedish striker nodded in a pinpoint cross by Mika Nurmela in the fifth minute.
Heerenveen's joy was short-lived, however, as Basel were back on level terms four minutes later. A mistake by Arjan Ebbinge let in George Koumantarakis and the forward had no problems beating Hans Vonk from close range.
Yakin converts rebound
Basel then took control of the game and were rewarded for their efforts in the 24th minute. Vonk could only block a shot from Massimo Ceccaroni and Murat Yakin was in the right place to convert the rebound.
Heerenveen almost clawed their way back into the match through Allbäck before the break, but the Swede was twice denied by excellent saves from Pascal Zuberbühler.
Allbäck again threatened early in the second half, while Denneboom saw a header fly just over the bar. But Basel sealed the tie in the 70th minute. Herve Tum beat Johan Hansma to a long ball and the substitute coolly finished.
Anthony Lurling fired home for the Dutchmen after a scramble five minutes later and Zuberbühler came up with two good late saves but it was not Heerenveen's day.