Quickfire Cluj beat Basel
© AFP

Ionut Rada and Lacina Traore scored inside the first 12 minutes as Romanian side Cluj opened their UEFA Champions League Group E campaign with A 2-1 victory over Swiss outfit Basel.

Basel hit back with a goal in first-half stoppage time from Valentin Stocker but it was not enough to earn them a share of the spoils. Going into the game Cluj knew qualifying from a group also involving Bayern and Roma would be difficult, so winning their home tie against their Swiss opponents was of vital importance.

They achieved that with two early goals as they made their most of their domination of the game in the opening stages. The home side were ahead inside nine minutes when Rada struck from a corner.An outswinging corner taken by Emil Dica found Rada, who headed into the net from close range.

Cluj again made Basel pay for their lack of power in the air as the home side doubled their lead with another header. This time Traore rose above the visitors' defence to head in from close range following a cross by Juan Emanuel Culio.

Cluj had goalkeeper Nuno Claro Simoes to thank for keeping their two-goal lead intact when he tipped a header from Samuel Inkoom around the post. But the home side were guilty of poor defending as they allowed Basel a way back into the tie in the second minute of stoppage time.

A cross by Inkoom was blocked by Ricardo Cadu at the expense of a corner. Alexander Frei's outswinging corner was met by Stocker with a header from close range to get the Swiss side back into the tie.

Traore did his bit in defence just before the hour when he was on hand to clear a corner from Frei. As Basel pressed for the equaliser a cross by Stocker set up Xherdan Shaqiri, but he shot weakly over the bar from 18 yards.

Basel were again denied when a cross by Inkoom found Fwayo Tembo but his header was saved by Claro as the home side held on for the win.