Zurich improve chances

Zurich's Yvan Quentin (left) fights for the ball against Aarau's Christian Okpala Keystone

FC Zurich revived their hopes of qualifying for the Swiss football league's championship round with a Sunday win over fellow strugglers Aarau.

This content was published on October 29, 2001 minutes

Zurich gained the upper hand over Aarau at the Letzigrund, in the match deciding who would take eighth place.

Both teams started the day on 21 points, but the locals were obviously the better outfit. A early free kick by Feliciano Magro was the only time the ball entered one of the goals, but Zurich squandered plenty of other opportunities to increase the score.

The tussle between Sion and Young Boys of Bern at Tourbillon was perhaps the match of the day. It wasn't until Frenchman Julien Poueys scored in the 63rd minute the canton Valais team put themselves ahead.

Sion's slender advantage was still there at the end of the game, but it was a close call as Young Boys almost played their way back into the match. The locals' goalkeeper, Fabrice Borer, had to fend off strong shots from Gürkan Sermeter and Reto Burri in the last 10 minutes.

Lausanne were unlucky not to walk away with a draw from their home match against Lugano. The score was locked at 1-1 until the last minute, when Joël Magnin headed in the ball.

Lausanne had drawn first blood in the opening half thanks to Loïc Chavériat, but Lugano drew even after an hour's play.

In Saturday's games, Basel easily beat Neuchâtel Xamax 5-1, St Gallen and Grasshoppers Zurich ended their match in a scoreless draw, and Servette Geneva overcame Lucerne 2-0.

Basel are the clear championship leaders on 33 points with just five qualifying matches remaining. Servette and St Gallen are four points behind, and Lugano five.

Grasshoppers and Zurich are both seventh, and still on course for the final round. Lucerne and Lausanne, respectively second-last and last, are already headed for the relegation playoffs.

swissinfo with agencies

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