Echallens and Vevey United were respectively beaten by Tuggen and Paradiso in the first round of the finals and remain in the 1st division. A first hurdle that the Gruériens easily overcame.
A table first in the 1st league should be avoided this year. Of the three teams that had dominated their respective groups, only Baden escaped elimination on Saturday. And again the Argovians sweated before crushing Grasshopper’s hopes (1-2/2-0).
While Wohlen did not weigh heavily against an outstanding FC Bulle (1: 4/0: 2) thanks to two successes in three minutes by Deschenaux (71st) and Afonso (74th), Echallens can nourish great regret after his elimination against Tuggen.
Beaten 2-1 in the first leg on Wednesday, the Challensois started the game in the best possible way. Very aggressive and enterprising from the off, they created no fewer than four big chances in the first half hour to quickly repeat their late goal. Unfortunately the post – clever deflection of the head from Chavanne (2nd) – Merlo, the Schwyz goalkeeper who won his duel against Rushenguziminega (7th) and the lack of precision from Basha (9th) and especially from Rushenguziminega (22nd) allowed this well-borrowed Tuggen to keep his small margin.
A little courage
Shortly after Echallens might have thwarted a penalty after a defender pushed on Reis (29′), Echallens began to slow down. Feltscher took the opportunity to adjust the right post to Falk’s goal (32′) before a Meier free-kick was deflected off the Vaud wall. A distant and slowed strike, a priori not irresistible, that the Challens goalkeeper was only able to parry with a hand that was not strong enough at the bottom of his goal (39′).
A bit discouraged and without too much punch or precision in the final gestures, Echallens then dominated the second half, but without creating many opportunities to reignite the tension if we refrain from a save from Tuggen in front of Ianigro (48′). and another shot at the outside of the post by Rushenguziminega (78′).
Not enough to prevent Tuggen from challenging FC Bulle next Wednesday and Saturday. Considering what the Schwyzois showed against Echallens, good prospects for the Gruériens.
“I’m both very disappointed and proud of my team,” sighed John Dragani at the end of the game. In both games and especially today (Saturday) she showed that she was superior to Tuggen. Unfortunately, we lacked realism and success too much to hope to pass. Conversely, it was enough for our opponents to shoot in the direction of our goal four or five times in 180 minutes to score three goals. It’s a shame because Echallens deserved a lot more than those two short defeats.
Despite this justified disappointment, the Challensois coach draws a very positive balance of this season. “With the small budget we have at our disposal,” concludes John Dragani, it means a lot to all of us to have scored the most points in the league as a first division team.”
A good reason, among other things, for the former LS coach to continue his work at the helm of Échallens for at least another year. Which will not be the case with Migjen Basha. At 35 and after a glittering career in Italy, the Albanian international, who grew up in Lausanne, now wants to pursue a different career path. “In about ten days I will be taking my final exams to get my pro-coaching license. It seems to me that my career as a player is finally over.
On the Vevey side, the disappointment is even greater than in Echallens. After winning the Paradiso in Copet 3-2 on Wednesday, Christophe Caschili’s team seemed to have all the cards in their hands to overcome this first obstacle. And it all started very well, as the Veveysa team scored a penalty right at the start of the game (5′). A way to knock out the Ticino missed by the unfortunate Hjij.
Overwhelmed by this error, Paradiso reset the counters thanks to Calic (28′) before Loiero gave his colors those two essential moves (53′). Despite a last chance from Gomis fifteen minutes before the end, Vevey returned empty-handed and very frustrated from Ticino. Paradiso will play Baden as the second promoted team on Wednesday.
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