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Football season starts with a bang

Moreira (right) opened the scoring for Sion Keystone

After the shortest summer break in western Europe, Switzerland's footballers returned to action on Wednesday. Sion had clearly got their preparations for the new season just right, starting their campaign with an 8-1 home win over Basel.

After allowing Sion’s Brazilian striker Moreira to open the scoring in the fifth minute, and then conceding a second goal through Duruz, Basel found themselves in even deeper trouble when Hakan Yakin was shown a red card for arguing with the referee shortly before the break.

Three minutes into the second half, though, Christian Gross’s men appeared to have pulled themselves back into contention with a goal from Koumantarakis.

It was then that Sion took control. A hat-trick each for Poueys and Ojong (both scored in separate spells of less than eight minutes) completed a memorable opening night for new trainer Roussey. It may be a new season but the old pressures are already back on the shoulders of Christian Gross.

Former champions St Gallen also made a good start to the season, winning 3-0 at home to Lausanne. Just as in Sion it was a fifth minute goal from a Brazilian that began the scoring – Jefferson the man putting St Gallen ahead.

A Sascha Müller goal at the very end of the first half and a debut strike for Pascal Jenny in the 54th minute completed the victory.

Despite what was already an early start to the season, the two matches were brought forward to Wednesday because of Lausanne and Basel’s commitments in Europe’s Intertoto Cup.

The rest of the teams in the top division begin their programme on Saturday. Grasshoppers Zurich start their title defence at home to Aarau while last season’s runners-up Lugano travel to newly promoted Young Boys of Bern.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR