FC Basel have won the Swiss football championship for the 12th time, after convincingly beating Young Boys Bern 2-0 on Saturday night in Basel.This content was published on May 11, 2008 - 11:09
The match was billed as a "Finalissima", with the entire season going down to the last match – had the Young Boys won, they would now be Swiss champions for the first time since 1986.
As it was, goals by Valentin Stocker and Marco Streller in the 13th and 23rd minute killed off any Bernese hopes and ensured that Basel lifted the cup once again, having been runners-up for the past two years.
The win completes a league and cup double and gives Basel some redemption for their heartbreaking title loss in 2006, when FC Zurich scored a 93rd-minute goal to beat Basel 2-1 in the last match and win the championship on goal difference.
Not that Christian Gross, Basel coach since 1999, has had too long to wait: his team also won the Swiss Super League title in 2002, 2004 and 2005.
With less than a month to go until Euro 2008 kicks off in the same stadium, Basel's St Jakob's Park, it was Stocker who did the most to boost his claim to an immediate place in the Swiss national side.
Squirting the ball through the legs of the Young Boys goalkeeper in the 13th minute and setting up the second goal ten minutes later – not to mention many other chances – Stocker will be hoping Swiss coach Köbi Kuhn was taking notes.
Basel finished the season with 74 points and the Young Boys with 70.
Another team celebrating Basel's win was AC Bellinzona, who as runner-up in the Swiss Cup will now play in next season's Uefa Cup, alongside Young Boys and Zurich.
At the other end of the table FC Thun finished their dire season with a 1-1 draw against third-placed Zurich, but this half-decent result was too little too late and Thun ended the season with a mere 27 points, relegating them to the Challenge League.
St Gallen also had a poor season, finishing second-bottom with 34 points. This means they will have to face the Challenge League runner-up in a play-off to see who plays where next season. The final positions in the Challenge League are not yet known.
swissinfo with agencies
St Jakob's Park stadium: 38,015 spectators.
Referee: M Busacca.
Goals: 13. Stocker 1:0. 23. Streller 2:0.
Basel: Costanzo; Zanni, Majstorovic, Marque (33. Ferati), Hodel; Huggel; Carlitos, Ergic, Eduardo (90. Perovic), Stocker; Streller (86. Derdiyok).
Young Boys: Wölfli; Schwegler, Portillo, Ghezal (54. Frimpong), Zayatte; Hochstrasser, Baykal (64. Regazzoni); Marco Schneuwly (46. Varela), Yakin, Raimondi; Häberli.
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