A helping hand from Letzigrund

A helping hand from Letzigrund

By keeping Thun in check after a crazy match (3-3), FC Zurich fully participated in maintaining FC Sion. The Bernese will have to save their place in the Super League against Vaduz in the play-offs.

The Zurich residents have done FC Sion a great service.

© Keystone
The Zurich residents have done FC Sion a great service.

At a time of insipid press releases, it is reassuring to see that some clubs still know the term “recognition” and know how to pay a worthy tribute to the figures who leave them. On Monday evening, Andris Vanins and Pa Modou, respectively four and three seasons spent at FC Zurich, left Letzigrund after being entitled to two ovations, a speech from the house announcer and a small gift before the start of the match against Thun.

All this without counting the multiple interventions of a touched and moved audience. The former was even given the captain’s armband and a place in the Zurich eleven for the first time since September 25. If need be, their “der” will have reminded how much the two men were appreciated in Zurich.

Magnin’s anger

That being said, all eyes were on their opponents: FC Thoune who had to do as well as Sion in Geneva to keep his 8th place and avoid the dams. At the Stockhorn Arena, where the Bernese are playing fire and are irresistible at the moment, the case would no doubt have been quickly closed and the suspense nipped in the bud. Except that Marc Schneider’s men travel much worse.

A big part of the last Super League fight therefore rested on the shoulders of FC Zurich. Which team would stand in front of the Oberlanders? The one who seems diminished, almost paralyzed, since she was affected by the Covid-19? No, thanks for it. Because like its trainer, this group has a certain pride. So, in French or German, but from the first minute, Ludovic Magnin harangued his troops. With a severity mixed with benevolence which does not leave indifferent.

Kololli shows the way forward

His players, in any case, were stung. So much so that after a few good movements from Thun, everything seemed clear and limpid. Guillaume Faivre’s latte first shook on a whim from Nathan. It was Benjamin Kololli, in the process, who showed the way forward. The Béllerin luckily inherited a ball in the middle of the box. A fraction of a second later, the leather was at the bottom of Faivre’s nets. The Neuchâtel goalkeeper was just as beaten a quarter of an hour later when Blaz Kramer slipped the ball back to the right place.

At that point, FC Thun could still hang on to two hopes. This first half which had not seen him be dominated by his host despite the score, and especially the totomat from La Praille, where FC Sion was led 1-0. The two were shattered in quick succession. While Toni Domgjoni drove home the point at Letzigrund (56th, 3-0), Pajtim Kasami gave the Sédunois the point they needed (43rd, 1-1).

Too much for Marc Schneider, who understood that his team was not going to get anything out of this last round of the championship.

The inevitable Ridgy Munsy

The Bernese technician recalled three of his strongmen even before the hour mark (Bertone, Havenaar and Glarner, Hasler joining them on the bench ten minutes later). The wisest choice undoubtedly in view of a potential double confrontation against Vaduz which was becoming clearer. Except that the Thounois had a completely crazy end to the game! Taking advantage of Vanins’ hesitation, Ridge Munsy catapulted a volley to the bottom (74th). Two huge Zurich chances later (Stephan Seiler even touched the batten), Simone Rapp gave her colors a little more hope by arming a perfect crosshead.

And then? The most essential player of the end of the championship has been there again. Her name: Ridgy Munsy of course! Powerful, the striker went to face Andris Vanins. An acceleration and a feint later, the scoreboard read 3-3. Thun had made the unimaginable return. But, like Nias Hefti who grabbed his head with both hands, the final whistle did not act as a release for the Bernese.

If they were virtually in the position of being held, they had a quarter of an hour to doubt. Doubt that Sion scores this extra goal and wins against Servette in a match interrupted for a quarter of an hour because of a lighting failure.

The thounois misfortune was confirmed when Pajtim Kasami served Roberts Uldrikis for the goal of the Valais rescue. Cruel for the fantastic Bernese of self-sacrifice during this second round, but not undeserved for an FC Sion rewarded with a final round much more convincing than the months which preceded. With Servette, Sion and Lausanne, there will therefore always be three Romans in the Super League next season.


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