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Sion begin fightback

St Gallen's Rainer Bieli looks for a way through the Sion defence

(Keystone)

Docked seven points by the league in midweek, Sion football club began their fightback on Sunday with a 1-0 away win over struggling former champions St Gallen.

The victory, secured with a Julien Poueys goal 17 minutes from the end of the match, has provisionally lifted Sion to the top of the league table. However, if the club's appeal against their points deduction is turned down, they could yet find themselves battling against relegation.

The league decided to dock the seven points after ruling that Sion had failed to produce the financial guarantees necessary for a top division licence. Sion have disputed this and launched an appeal immediately after the penalty was announced.

Following a dismal start to the new season, St Gallen must be wishing they could have the seven points that Sion seem set to lose. Having built up a formidable reputation at home in the last couple of years, the side from east Switzerland have now lost their last four matches at the Espenmoos stadium.

On Sunday, Marcel Koller's team enjoyed the majority of the possession but once again lacked the ability to profit from their chances. Their best opportunity of the match fell to Romanian striker Ionel Gane who somehow contrived to head wide from some three metres out with just 11 minutes to go.

Subject to the success of the appeal, Sion are now level on points with second-placed FC Zurich, who fell from the top after losing Saturday's local derby against Grasshoppers 3-1.

Servette Geneva are up to third place having leapt above Young Boys on Saturday with a 3-0 home win over the side from Bern. Lugano slipped to sixth after being hammered 5-1 by a resurgent Basel.

Lausanne are another team whose season appears to be coming good at last, although the side from canton Vaud had to fight hard for a 3-2 win over winless Lucerne.

Aarau and Neuchâtel Xamax are seventh and ninth respectively following their 0-0 draw on Saturday.

swissinfo with agencies

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