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Swiss savour night to remember

Published: Thursday 11 August 2005, 10.44CET
FC Basel 1893 coach Christian Gross hailed a "great night for Swiss football" after wins for his side and FC Thun.

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Published: Thursday 11 August 2005, 10.44CET

Swiss savour night to remember

FC Basel 1893 coach Christian Gross hailed a "great night for Swiss football" after wins for his side and FC Thun.
FC Basel 1893 coach Christian Gross is confident of taking his side back into the UEFA Champions League group stage after Wednesday's 2-1 defeat of Werder Bremen.

Deserved winners
The Swiss champions were deserved winners of the first leg of their third qualifying round encounter, beating the 2004 German champions with goals in each half from David Degen and substitute Julio Rossi. A 73rd-minute strike from German international Miroslav Klose, however, kept Bremen in contention for the return match in Germany.

'Really proud'
"I'm really proud of the players but a little unhappy that we didn't win by more," Gross said. "Right now I only want to look forward. I'm optimistic that we can finish the job, though I guess we'll probably have to score at least one more goal in Bremen." Gross is the only coach to have taken a Swiss team into the Champions League group stages - achieving the feat twice with Grasshopper-Club and once with Basel.

'Strong chances'
This season he could have company with another Swiss side, FC Thun, having also recorded a first-leg win on Wednesday - 1-0 away to Swedish title-holders Malmö FF. "It's a great night for Swiss football," Gross said. "Both teams have strong chances - Thun maybe even more than us."

Bremen vow
Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf promised a more spirited approach from his team in the return. "It's true that we were lucky not to concede more goals, but we also had some chances of our own that went astray," he said. "We definitely didn't underestimate Basel - we just never found the assurance we needed to start attacking more. But we will know what to do in two weeks' time."

Last updated: 11/08/05 13.39CET

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