Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boro 4 Basle 1

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boro 4 Basle 1

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Paylor

Bucharest here we come!

Massimo Maccarone's huge pounds 8m fee became a mere drop in the ocean as the Italian substitute sealed Boro's greatest ever comeback at an electrically charged Riverside Stadium last night.

In a unforgettable and emotionally uplifting experience, Boro grabbed four goals in an hour to record the unlikeliest but sweetest of victories.

The diminishing number of fans who were there will remember this spellbinding evening for the rest of their lives.

So will the Boro players, every one of whom overcame the setback of allowing Basle an away goal to reply by producing the game of their lives.

The Swiss players were thunderstruck at the final whistle, unable to come to terms with losing a seemingly impenetrable three-goal advantage.

But Boro thoroughly deserve to savour every moment of this incredible victory.

Steve McClaren, whose terrific contribution towards this stunning achievement should not be underplayed, said all along that he had players who could score goals.

We were not so sure at half-time, even if Mark Viduka had cancelled out Eduardo's earlier strike.

But Boro, with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink on the pitch as a third striker for the whole of the second half, were irresistible.

Viduka gave Boro renewed hope with a clinical finish for his second goal and suddenly we all had the feeling that the impossible dream might become a reality.

The silly spat between Basle's outstanding player Daniel Majstorovic and Boateng, which led to the Swede receiving an unlucky early bath, had a massive bearing on the outcome.

It was not that Boro's final two goals came from crosses, all of which has previously been snapped up by Majstorovic.

It was simply that Basle suddenly sensed, for the first time, and with holding midfielder Papa Malick Ba pulled back as a stop-gap defender, that they would not hold on. …

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