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More woe for Lugano

Giminez (left) and Zurich's Tarik Chibab collide as Lugano's headache continues

(Keystone)

Lugano may have won Swiss football's qualifying round but recent evidence suggests Roberto Morinini's men may still be in hibernation from the winter break.

On Sunday Lugano were beaten 1-0 at home by FC Zurich, leaving the Ticinese side still winless after three championship round matches.

Needing only a draw to return to the top of the table, Lugano were not helped by their Italian midfielder, Dario Rota, who was sent off in the 37th minute after receiving his second yellow card of the match. The dismissal was Rota's third of the season and his second against FC Zurich.

With Rota gone and with Swiss international Kubilay Türkyilmaz missing through injury, Lugano found themselves under heavy pressure from the visitors. Shortly after the break, FC Zurich deservedly took the lead when Patrick Bühlmann turned in a cross from Georgian midfielder Mikhail Kavelaschvili.

In the last ten minutes of the match, Lugano had several opportunities to equalise with Goran Grubesic and Christian Giminez both seeing efforts cleared off the line. But the wake-up call had come too late and FC Zurich were soon able to celebrate their first away win against Lugano in five years.

Sunday's only other championship game must have left many spectators wishing they had stayed in bed as Grasshoppers Zurich and FC Basel ground out an uninspiring goal-less draw.

Like Lugano, Grasshoppers could have gone top of the table with a win, but were unable to get the better of a stubborn Basel side and a rain-soaked Hardturm pitch.

Sunday's two results combined to keep St Gallen on top of the championship table, despite the defending champion's 4-1 defeat away to Servette Geneva on Saturday. Servette and FC Zurich are now second and third respectively, with both sides level on points with St Gallen.

In what is shaping up to be a very tight league, Lugano, Grasshoppers and Lausanne are all just one point behind the leading pack, although Grasshoppers and Lausanne both have a game in hand.

swissinfo with agencies


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