FC Lugano are away to Lausanne Sports later today in the second semi-final of the Swiss Cup. The final will pit the winner against FC Zurich, who smashed FC Lucerne 7-2 in last week's first semi.
Although Lugano are the underdogs, trainer Roberto Morinini is looking to France for inspiration, where the amateur side, Calais, made it to the final. Morinini said the epic run of the French amateurs proved the value of cup competitions.
The Calais analogy may have been more apt than Morinini thought, but for the wrong reasons. While the French were glued to their television screens watching the assortment of plumbers, sports teachers and students take the scalps of highly-paid professionals, Lugano have been turning out decidedly amateur performances.
They have suffered two consecutive defeats in this season's relegation round, and are being tipped to trip up again in Lausanne. However, Morinini said Lugano were not going to the Pontaise stadium simply to make up the numbers.
The canton Ticino side are almost certain of holding onto their place in National League A, and Morinini said their league defeat at the hands of Sion last Saturday could in part be blamed on the team fixing their sights on the Thursday cup game.
He credited Lausanne with the most interesting playing style in the league, but said Lugano planned to impose their own style on the game. They last met Lausanne in the cup in 1938's quarterfinal.
Sixty-two years ago it was Lugano who were the hosts, and the victors, taking the game 2-0. However, Lausanne made it to the final in 1998 and 1999, when they beat Sankt Gallen and Grasshoppers Zurich respectively, and will be hoping to make it three in a row.
swissinfo with agencies