Grasshoppers held as footballers return to action

Grasshopper's Eduardo Riberio Santons (left) and St Gallen's Pascal Jenny (right) in Saturday's match Keystone

The opening match of this season's Swiss football championship round has seen defending champions Grasshoppers Zurich held to a 2-2 draw in St Gallen.

This content was published on February 24, 2002 - 02:05

St Gallen were clearly the stronger team and impressed their new trainer, Gérard Castella, with a brilliant performance.

The first goal came after just six minutes, when Daniel Imhof netted for St Gallen.

In the 15th minute, Grasshoppers newcomer Eduardo Ribeiro D. Santons scored to briefly level the scoreline and surprise the 11,000 watching supporters who had hardly seen the visitors come close to the St Gallen goal before that point.

The home side rallied though to take the lead once more through Ionel Gane on the brink of half time.

From the beginning of the second half St Gallen continued to enjoy the majority of the possession, forcing their opponents more and more to take on a defensive role.

Home hopes for a 2-1 victory were denied in the 72nd minute, however, when Grasshoppers' Uruguayan star Richard Nuñez produced a wonder goal with a strike from long range.

Following that stroke of genius, Marcel Koller's Grasshoppers had a chance to then steal all three points but with six minutes to go Nuñez failed to match his earlier effort, missing a great opportunity to score.

swissinfo with agencies

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