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St Gallen lose to Galatasaray

St Gallen's Charles Amoah celebrates after scoring the opening goal Keystone

The reigning Swiss football champions, St Gallen, have been beaten 2-1 by the Turkish side, Galatasaray, in the first leg of their Champions League qualifying match in Zurich.

St Gallen dominated much of the match but failed to make the most of their chances – fatal at this level of international competition. At times Galatasaray resorted to fouls to stem the pace and enthusiasm of the Swiss champions.

But in the end Galatasaray, who won last year’s Uefa cup, proved the slicker and more experienced side despite lacking the services of their suspended midfield player, Hagi.

St Gallen took the lead in the 14th minute when Charles Amoah caught Galatasaray keeper, Claudio Taffarel, off his line and lobbed him. The Ghanaian striker came close again 20 minutes later.

But Galatasaray pushed forward and Brazilian striker, Jardel, left unmarked by the St Gallen defence, headed the Turkish side’s equaliser in the 39th minute.

The unfancied Swiss side had most of the chances in the second half but Jardel -a recent signing from FC Porto – gave Galatasaray the lead after 78 minutes, sliding the ball through the Swiss defence.

St Gallen finished with ten men after Giuseppe Mazzarelli was sent off for a second bookable offence in the closing minutes.

The Swiss champions played the home leg of the tie at Zurich rival Grasshoppers’ Hardturm stadium in front of a capacity crowd of 16,000 spectators.

The second leg in Istanbul will be played in two weeks’ time.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR