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Dutch treat for Swiss teams in Uefa Cup

St Gallen celebrating Thursday's victory over Chelsea. Their next opponent is Belgium's Brugge. Keystone

Two of the three remaining Swiss teams in the Uefa Cup competition will be taking on Dutch teams in the next round. Lausanne will play mighty Ajax Amsterdam, Basel are up against Feyenoord Rotterdam, while St Gallen take on Belgium's Club Brugge.

This content was published on September 30, 2000 - 10:00

The three Swiss teams qualified on Thursday. Lausanne won 2-0 against Torpedo Moscow in Russia and Basel drew with Norway's Brann Bergen 4-4 to win its tie on aggregate.

The evening's biggest surprise was St Gallen's victory over the English side Chelsea. The side from eastern Switzerland won 2-0 in Zurich, taking the tie 2-1 on aggregate.

The British press was not tender with the Chelsea team after what most journalists called a major surprise.

"The Daily Telegraph" called it one of Chelsea's most embarrassing exits, at the hands of a team given a 600-1 chance of winning the Cup. St Gallen "humbled their (Chelsea's) multi-million pound cosmopolitan outfit."

For "The Guardian", it was vulnerability against an unfancied side, which led to Chelsea's downfall. "The Mirror" also pointed out that for Chelsea, "When it comes to minnows like St Gallen, they freeze like rabbits caught in the headlamps", and "it would have been a travesty had Chelsea got anything out of this game."

The English side's performance was fiercely criticised by the newspapers. For "The Times", Chelsea struggled to create anything.

But as much as the British press tore strips off its favourites, it also praised St Gallen's skills. "The Mirror" said "the Swiss champions looked sharp and creative."

"The better side won," said "The Times".

The British also praised the contribution of St Gallen players Charles Amoah and Ionel Gane to their side's victory.

Swiss newspapers also headlined St Gallen's win. The tabloid, "Blick", said it all with its headline: "St Gallen gets rid of Chelsea snobs."

The "Berner Zeitung" said the Swiss side had "played like champions", underlining Amoah and Gane's decisive role in the game.

As for the "Basler Zeitung", this was "St Gallen's finest hour." The Swiss team was "always dangerous in the strike zone and the defence almost always kept the English side in check."

by Scott Capper

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