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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 March 2006, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
FC Basle 2-0 Middlesbrough
Ray Parlour
Ray Parlour shows his frustration after Middlesbrough's defeat
Middlesbrough have a mountain to climb in their Uefa Cup quarter-final with FC Basle after conceding twice in the last three minutes of the first half.

Steve McClaren's side fell behind when Argentine Matias Delgado beat Mark Schwarzer after his long-range shot took a wicked bounce.

Midfielder David Degen then raced through to double the advantage with the last kick of the half.

Chris Riggott was unlucky not to score when his header hit the bar.

Boro went into the tie confident they might be able to win only the second major trophy in the club's history after beating favourites Roma in the previous round.

But, despite the absence of big European names in the last eight, any thoughts they would be able to steamroller Christian Gross's side were quickly extinguished.

The Swiss champions have not lost a league game at home for three years and that statistic should have set the alarm bells ringing before a ball had even been kicked.

Degen should have done better after being presented with a great chance on the half hour but only had a yellow card for diving.

Basle keeper Pascal Zuberbuehler was then fortunate to see his attempt at stopping Gaizka Mendieta's shot from long range narrowly clear the bar.

The Swiss keeper would no doubt claim the slippery ball made the situation look more precarious than it actually was.

And Schwarzer would probably use the same excuse when Basle took the lead three minutes before the interval.

There seemed little danger when Delgado picked up the ball on the left wing but, after firing a shot from 35 yards, the ball skipped off the surface right in front of the Australian keeper and left him helpless.

Basle goalscorer David Degen
Basle's David Degen celebrates his important goal

The Swiss side then doubled their advantage with the last kick of the first half when Degen raced through to slide past Schwarzer after Eduardo had shown great vision the release him down the right.

Riggott almost put Boro back into the tie when his header went over off the top of the bar.

But the visitors had their own scrape with the woodwork when Delgado's free-kick hit the corner of the post and bar.

Riggott, though, was in the right place to clear off the line when Scott Chipperfield was presented with a chance to put the tie beyond doubt.

But Boro's miserable night was confirmed when Emanuel Pogatetz had to be carried off after breaking his nose in an aerial challenge.

Basle: Zuberbuhler, Majstorovic, Berner, Smiljanic, Sterjovski (Chipperfield 64), Ba, Delgado, Degen, Zanni, Eduardo Da Silva, Petric (Ergic 85).
Subs Not Used: Crayton, Quennoz, Rakitic, Kuzmanovic, Kulaksizoglu.

Booked: Degen, Majstorovic.

Goals: Delgado 43, Degen 45.

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Parnaby, Riggott, Pogatetz (Ehiogu 68), Queudrue, Mendieta (Rochemback 74), Parlour, Doriva, Downing, Hasselbaink (Yakubu 74), Viduka.
Subs Not Used: Jones, Davies, Morrison, Taylor.

Booked: Downing, Riggott.

Att: 23,639

Ref: Roberto Rosetti (Italy)

News conference: Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren

Uefa Cup photos
30 Mar 06 |  Photo Galleries
Pogatetz suffers bad head injury
30 Mar 06 |  Middlesbrough


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