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Season review: Luxembourg

Published: Wednesday 30 May 2012, 12.40CET
F91 Dudelange were the dominant force in Luxembourg once again in 2011/12, securing a tenth league championship in the last 13 years, while also winning the cup.
by Andreas Königl
Season review: Luxembourg
Dudelange were the team to beat once more in Luxembourg ©F91 Dudelange
Published: Wednesday 30 May 2012, 12.40CET

Season review: Luxembourg

F91 Dudelange were the dominant force in Luxembourg once again in 2011/12, securing a tenth league championship in the last 13 years, while also winning the cup.

F91 Dudelange were once again the team to beat in Luxembourg in 2011/12, though they had to work harder for their success than many would have expected at the start of the season, finishing three points clear of AS Jeunesse Esch – the same team they beat to clinch the double.

Champions: F91 Dudelange
In the end, patience and tenacity paid off for Dudelange once more, as they successfully defended their title. They had an early hiccup when taking just one point from their first two games and did not reach the top of the table until the 16th round. Once in front, however, Dudelange did not surrender their advantage, even if Esch cut the deficit from seven points to three in the final straight.

Cup final: F91 Dudelange 4-2 AS Jeunesse Esch (after extra time)
The game got off to an exciting start when Daniel Gomez gave Esch the lead after just three minutes. Dudelange turned things round and went 2-1 ahead shortly after the break through goals from Aurélien Joachim and Sofian Benzouien, but Yassine Benajiba then scored to force extra time. Yet Dudelange would not be deterred and Joachim's second goal restored their lead before substitute Amodou Abdullei sealed his team's fifth cup victory since 2004 seconds before the final whistle.

European places*
F91 Dudelange – UEFA Champions League, first qualifying round
AS Jeunesse Esch – UEFA Europa League, first qualifying round
CS Grevenmacher – UEFA Europa League, first qualifying round
FC Differdange 03 – UEFA Europa League, first qualifying round

*Subject to final confirmation from UEFA

Player of the year: Aurélien Joachim (F91 Dudelange)
The 25-year-old Luxembourg striker, signed from Differdange last summer, received 95 votes to become Footballer of the Year, with his team-mate Stefano Bensi coming second (58 points). Joachim finished as Dudelange's top scorer with 19 goals as well as playing a pivotal role in the cup final victory.

One to watch: Omar Er Rafik (FC Differdange 03)
Arriving from second-tier CS Oberkorn, the 26-year-old Moroccan made an immediate impact at Differdange as he hit 23 goals to finish as the Luxembourger First Division's leading marksman.

Surprise package: Union 05 Kayl-Tétange
After the club's refounding in 2005, Kayl-Tétange climbed from the fourth division into the top flight in the space of just six years. Led by their influential striker Tony Lopes, who managed 14 goals, they escaped relegation in their final match and can look forward to another year in Luxembourg's elite division.

Leading scorer: Omar Er Rafik, FC Differdange 03 (23)

Relegated: US Hostert, US Rumelange, FC Swift Hesper

Promoted: FC Jeunesse Canach, FC Etzella Ettelbruck, FC Wiltz 71

Number: 10
Amount of goals scored by Dudelange in their resounding victory over CS Pétange. Bensi netted a hat-trick as the club recorded the biggest victory of the campaign while also clinching their tenth championship since 2000.

Quote:
"Last year we were very unlucky to get relegated, but now we're back. I think our accomplishment is highly deserved and the players wrote a great chapter in the history of FC Wiltz. We were the best team not only on an individual level, but also collectively. Now we're going to have a fitting party."
Wiltz coach Pascal Lebrun following the club's immediate return to the top flight.

Last updated: 11/07/12 10.24CET

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