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European dream over for Basel and St Gallen

A dejected Charles Amoah leaves the pitch as Bruges players celebrate


Swiss champions St Gallen were dumped out of the UEFA Cup in dramatic fashion on Thursday after conceding a last minute goal to the Belgian league leaders Bruges. Basel were also knocked out in the second round, after losing away to Dutch club Feyenoord.

Both St Gallen and Basel had gone into Thursday's matches trailing 2-1 from their first leg games. But an early mistake from Bruges defender Nzelo Lembi seemed to have put St Gallen in the driving seat.

The Swiss club's Romanian striker Ionel Gane pounced on Lembi's mispass before threading a pass through to Charles Amoah. From short range the Ghanaian forward buried the ball in the net to put St Gallen ahead on the away goals rule.

Maintaining the narrow lead required some impressive feats from St Gallen keeper Jörg Stiel, but as time ticked away a place in the third round seemed to be beckoning.

Then, with a minute and a half of injury time played, it all fell apart. A well taken Bruges free kick was headed on by defender Timmy Simons perfectly into the path of striker Andres Mendoza.

This time Stiel had no chance and, with the final whistle coming just seconds later, his side had no way back.

While the St Gallen fans were left to come to terms with their cruel exit from the competition, Basel never had the chance to cause an upset of their own.

Feyenoord's Leonardo put the Dutch side 1-0 up within three minutes of the second leg getting underway. The early goal was also to be the only one of the night, leaving Basel 3-1 losers over the two legs.

swissinfo with agencies

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