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Wil bask in historic victory

Published: Monday 12 April 2004, 19.07CET
FC Wil 1900 will make their UEFA Cup debut after lifting their first Swiss Cup by beating Grasshopper-Club.

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Published: Monday 12 April 2004, 19.07CET

Wil bask in historic victory

FC Wil 1900 will make their UEFA Cup debut after lifting their first Swiss Cup by beating Grasshopper-Club.
FC Wil 1900 will make their UEFA Cup debut next season after lifting the Swiss Cup for the first time with a dramatic 3-2 victory against 18-times winners Grasshopper-Club in Basel.

Perfect start
Grasshoppers, in their 31st final, were taking on a relegation-threatened team who had never previously progressed beyond the last four and have an estimated €3.2m debt. Wil coach Joachim Müller said: "We did everything right. We will have a nice celebration but then we will quickly return our focus to the league. If we play like this, we will be able to avoid relegation."

Perfect start
Wil made the perfect start on five minutes when Rogerio gave them the lead. However, by the 19-minute mark Grasshoppers were ahead. Three minutes after falling behind they levelled through Richard Nuñez and Ricardo Cabanas soon struck to make it 2-1.

Fabinho seals cup
Wil rallied, and on the half-hour Fabinho converted a penalty. Grasshoppers were reduced to ten men just before the break when Mihai Tararache received his second booking, and eleven minutes from time Fabinho scored his second spot-kick to seal the victory.

European debut
Wil, whose president is former European Footballer of the Year Ihor Belanov, are second-bottom of the Swiss first division but can at least look forward to UEFA Cup football next term, having made their European debut in the 2003 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

'Missed opportunity'
Grasshoppers, whose last cup success was a decade ago, may now miss out on Europe for only the second time since 1994. They lie fifth in the Super League, eleven points adrift of third-placed Servette FC in the only remaining UEFA Cup berth. Grasshopper coach Alain Geiger said: "I expected much more from my team. We had a chance to save our season but we missed it."

SSI Err
Last updated: 13/04/04 11.50CET

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