FC Zurich have won the Swiss football league title for the 11th time with a 2-0 win against local rivals Grasshoppers Zurich.This content was published on May 25, 2007 - 08:44
The victory on Thursday took them to 75 points, one ahead of Basel, who also won 2-0 at home in their final game against Young Boys of Bern.
Zurich benefited from a rule infringement by mid-table St Gallen, who held them to a no-score draw on April 1 but had fielded an ineligible player.
The league's disciplinary commission turned the draw into a 3-0 win for Zurich and the two extra points proved decisive.
It is the second year in a row that Basel have lost the title to Zurich on the final day of the season.
"We played with intelligence and character. Every player, from the youngest to the most experienced, contributed to our success," said FC Zurich trainer Lucien Favre after the final whistle.
"We knew it would be very hard. We knew we had to win because we knew Basel would beat Young Boys."
Brazilian-born Tunisian striker Francileudo Santos broke the deadlock in the Zurich derby in the 42nd minute in front of a sell-out 18,000 crowd at the Hardturm stadium.
Zurich managed to keep Grasshoppers at bay before Xavier Margairaz sealed victory with goal number two in the 92nd minute.
Over in Basel, the Australian Mile Sterjovski put the home side ahead – and FC Zurich under pressure – after a mere 72 seconds. The Brazilian striker Eduardo then scored an impressive solo effort in the 20th minute.
The victory meant Basel remained unbeaten since the end of the winter break.
But this was not enough to make up for the points that Switzerland's richest club had squandered earlier on in the season.
Basel, as runners-up in the Swiss league, have nevertheless qualified for the Uefa Cup, while FC Zurich will get a shot at Europe's big boys in the Champions League.
FC Sion also qualified for the Uefa Cup thanks to a 2-0 win over FC Lucerne, which catapulted them into third place, one point ahead of Young Boys Bern.
The only hope for Young Boys of taking part in the Uefa Cup next season is if Basel beat Lucerne in the Swiss Cup final on Monday.
There were no changes at the other end of the table: Schaffhausen's 2-0 defeat to Thun mean they will be playing in the Challenge League, the Swiss second division, next season.
swissinfo with agencies
FC Zurich have become Swiss league champions for the 11th time.
They have won the title in 2006, 1981, 1976, 1975, 1974, 1968, 1966, 1963, 1924 and 1902.
They have also won the Swiss Cup seven times.
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