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Swiss teams make winning start to UEFA Cup

Grasshoppers' Mladen Petrici (centre) takes control of the ball from Dinamo's Valentin Nastase (right)

(Keystone)

Three Swiss football teams have successfully launched their UEFA Cup programmes by winning their opening round matches.

Swiss champions Grasshoppers Zurich are now well placed to qualify for the second round of the UEFA Cup after they won their first leg match on Thursday against Romanian side Dinamo Bucharest.

The away match in Bucharest could hardly have gone better for the Grasshoppers. They defeated their first round foes 3-1.

Stéphane Chapuisat opened the evening's scoring with a goal in the first half. Team-mate Benjamin Mwaruwari made it two in the second half before Dinamo's Adrian Mihalcea converted a penalty kick.

Ricardo Nunez then made it three for Grasshoppers.

"Three goals in an away match - it's super!" said Chapuisat. "Now we have to concentrate on the return match in Switzerland."

Coach Hans-Peter Zaugg said the chances of his team winning next week were good. "Even although nothing has been decided, we have one foot in second round," Zaugg said.

The Grasshoppers are looking to bounce back from their disappointment in failing to qualify for the Champions League.

St Gallen beat Dinamo's city rivals, the 1986 European Cup winners, Steaua Bucharest 2-1.

"We began the match well and deserved to take the advantage," said coach Marcel Koller. "But the Romanians capitalised on a space we left open for them and equalised."

South African Teboah Mokoena scored the decisive goal that gave St Gallen point-capital to take into next week's return game in Romania.

Swiss Cup winners Servette wrapped up a successful evening for Switzerland with their 1-0 win over Slavia Prague. Wilson Oruma managed to score the Geneva side and the match's only goal in the 75th minute.

Coach Lucian Favre acknowledged that their eastern European opponents played well. "Nothing is won yet. Slavia is a very focused team...the objective for the return match is simple: we must mark in order to pass," Koller said after the match.

They will face the Czech team away next week.

swissinfo with agencies


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