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Saturday, August 25, 2012

St. Gallen 2-1 FC Basel

Regazzoni scores the winner for Sion
The reigning Swiss Champions are struggling to find their form as they fail to maintain their early dominance in the match and concede two to lose the 1-0 lead that Jacques Zoua gave them in the first ten minutes of the game.

Despite possessing in their usual dominant fashion in the first half, Basel struggled in the second half as their midfield seemed discombobulated and their defenders were madly committing to the ball. Their technique wasn't the best in the back, but in the front it was a combination of bad luck and a fantastic game from St. Gallen goalkeeper Lopar consistently denied Basel's attacking forces another goal.
The match was just ten minutes underway when Valentin Stocker found Zoua with a lovely through ball. The Cameroonian striker made no mistake in slamming the ball into the back of the net and Basel took the lead. The early lead caused them to sit back and play a lower pressure system, opening up costly gaps in the midfield. As the defense sat further and further back and the strikers, Frei and Zoua, stayed up the field near the St. Gallen back line, turnover after turnover began to occur in the midfield. By the 35th minute, St. Gallen were arguably the dominant side after Basel looked like they were going to destroy the home team and comfortably take home the three points.
Basel held on until halftime, but just five minutes into the second half, St. Gallen were level as Cavusevic scored on a through ball similar to Stocker and Zoa's goal in the first half. While Lopar had lots of work in the first half, Sommer and his defenders were busy men in the second half. They did well to keep the St. Gallen attack out of their six-yard box and to apply tight pressure to keep the shots on goal down to a minimum but their mad defending cost them a few yellow cards. Stocker was carded at the other end for going down easily under a challenge from the St. Gallen defense rather than being given the penalty he was looking for.
In the 72nd minute, Basel's defense opened up too much, allowing Alberto Ragazzoni to take a well placed shot into the lower corner of the far post, leaving Sommer glued in his place with no chance of reaching it. St. Gallen held on for the win, the visiting Champions unable to find a way through to grab the equalizer. Basel will hope to bounce back at midweek as they travel to Cluj for the Champions League where they are in a must-win situation by at least 2 away goals if they wish to make it to the group stage where they dazzled last season. St. Gallen have no European football to rest up for, but their next league game is one that they should capitalize on when they play first place FC Sion on September first.

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