FC Sion wrote football history on Monday, winning the Swiss Cup final against Young Boys of Bern in the first ever victory by a team from a lower league.This content was published on April 17, 2006 - 19:24
Sion had to make it through extra time and a penalty shoot-out before finally lifting the cup. They won 5-3 on penalties, with the teams level at 1-1 after 120 minutes.
This was the tenth time that Sion had played in a cup final and they returned to canton Valais unbeaten again.
All five penalty shooters for Sion scored from the spot in the nail-biting climax but Daniel João Paulo missed his shot for the Bern team.
In a match that was hailed as David versus Goliath, Young Boys exerted early pressure on Sion, putting their home soil advantage and superior league status to good use.
Young Boys are currently fourth in the Super League, with Sion second in the Challenge League.
It came as no great surprise when Carlos Varela opened the scoring in the 16th minute, latching on to a ball on the right before outpacing a defender and driving the ball past a helpless Germano Vailati in the Sion goal.
But the character of the game changed completely in the 31st minute when Steve Gohouri of Young Boys was shown the red card after a clumsy late foul on Paulo Vogt on the edge of the penalty area.
His departure was a signal for the Bern side – reduced to ten men – to withdraw into their shell and try to defend their one-nil advantage.
In the second half, Sion clearly showed they had not come to Bern to play second fiddle to the home side.
They took the game to Young Boys and were much more imaginative and attacking.
The just reward for their efforts came in the 55th minute when Sion's Goran Obradovic hammered a 25-metre free kick past three defenders and gave YB goalkeeper Marco Wölfli no chance.
With only 14 minutes it was Wölfli in action again, making a great save to thwart the Sion attack.
In front of him, his team were reacting rather than acting and had few ideas to compensate for Gohouri's loss.
That changed in the second half of extra time with Young Boys having the better chances to sway the game in their favour.
Shortly before the end of the match, nerves got the better of several players and Sion's João Pinto was shown the red card for unsporting behaviour against Hakan Yakin of Young Boys.
swissinfo, Robert Brookes
Winners of the Swiss Cup since 1995:
2005 FC Zurich
2000 FC Zurich
Sion v Young Boys 1-1 (after extra time). Sion won 5-3 in the penalty shoot-out.
Goals: 16th minute Varela (YB) 1-0, 55th minute Obradovic (Sion) 1-1.
Obradovic, Di Zenzo, Crettenand, Gaspoz and Regazzoni scored from the penalty spot for Sion, while João Paulo of Young Boys failed in his attempt.
Gohouri of Young Boys was sent off in the 31st minute, while Sion's João Pinto received his marching orders in the 122nd minute.
The State de Suisse in Bern was sold-out, with 30,569 spectators attending Monday's Swiss Cup final.
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