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Basel off to roaring start in final round

Gimenez (left) scored twice against Lugano Keystone

Basel, league leaders before the winter break, took up where they left off in their first match of the final round of the Swiss football championship in Lugano.

Basel asserted their authority on Sunday in the first half, leading 2-1 at the break thanks to two late goals. In the second half, Hakan Yakin put his side further ahead in the 69th minute, but Julio Rossi pulled one back for Lugano just seconds later before Christian Gimenez destroyed the locals’ hopes one minute later.

The same Gimenez sealed Lugano’s fate with a final goal in the 83rd minute.

Geneva Servette scored an important away victory with a 2-0 win over Zurich, with a goal in each half by Swiss international Alex Frei. Young Boys of Bern also kick started its championship chase with a 4-0 win over Sion

On Saturday, Grasshoppers scrambled to two-all draw in St Gallen despite an impressive performance from the locals.

Basel leads the final round on 25 points, five ahead of Grasshoppers and Servette, and six in front of Lugano, St Gallen and Young Boys.

Relegation round

The relegation/promotion round got off to a bad start for first-division sides Lausanne and Lucerne. The canton Vaud team was beaten 4-0 in Delémont by the locals, who netted three goals in 25 minutes in the second half.

Wil, another second-division club, travelled to Lucerne to win at the Allmend 2-1. The game, in what promises to be a regular occurrence, was hard-fought, with five yellow cards distributed by the referee and one player sent off.

Neuchâtel Xamax got off to better start, overcoming fellow first-division side Aarau 3-1. Ghana’s Alex scored twice and made the decisive pass for the home team’s third goal.

Thun managed to score a 1-2 away victory against Winterthur in the last of the day’s matches.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR