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Football: Champions Sankt Gallen settle for goalless draw

The newly crowned champions of Swiss football, Sankt Gallen, could only hold Servette to a goalless draw on Friday night. Last weekend's celebrations seemed to have exhausted Marcel Koller's side but their Genevan hosts were unable to take advantage.

For the first quarter of an hour, Sankt Gallen were as lively and keen as the sell-out crowd who had packed into the Espenmoos stadium to watch them. But from then on Servette must have been wondering why their own season has gone so badly, just a year after they lifted the title themselves.

The former champions certainly had the better of the first half chances. St Gallen defender Marco Zwyssig showed that he at least was still awake in clearing a shot from Sébastien Fournier off the line. Servette's Alexandre Rey and St Gallen's Guido had no such excuse when they were put through but failed to find the net.

For the fans dressed in green and white, the night's result will have mattered far less than the opportunity to commemorate an incredible season. And the team can at least reflect that this disappointing match at least kept intact their undefeated record at home in the championship round.

After five days as a local hero, their manager was unsurprisingly relaxed at the end of the match. "We wanted to bring something to the party," Koller insisted. "But it just wasn't to be."

by Mark Ledsom

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