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First-half class takes Thun past Rapid

FC Thun 1-0 SK Rapid Wien
Christian Schneuwly's excellent finish, ten minutes before the break, proved decisive as the Swiss outfit posted an opening-day win in Group G.

Thun players celebrate Christian Schneuwly's 35th-minute goal
Thun players celebrate Christian Schneuwly's 35th-minute goal ©AFP/Getty Images

FC Thun got off to an auspicious start in UEFA Europa League Group G with a 1-0 win against SK Rapid Wien.

Measured in defence and fluid on the counter, Thun thoroughly deserved the lead earned by Christian Schneuwly's clever finish ten minutes before the break, and although they allowed Rapid Wien back into the contest, they withstood a late to secure the win.

Having won five of their six games en route to the group stage, Thun's confidence was sky-high and they shone in the opening stages. Brothers Christian and Marco Schneuwly were key protagonists in attack, the latter coming close with a fierce angled drive early on.

The pair combined superbly soon after. Christian Schneuwly met a searching ball with a cushioned header into the box, which Marco Schneuwly took expertly on his thigh before volleying over under pressure.

That one of the sparkling brothers would break the deadlock was inevitable, and Christian Schneuwly was the man to get the goal on 35 minutes. Without breaking stride, he fired Luca Zuffi's perfectly-weighted through-pass beyond Novota with the outside of his right foot.

An assured home side continued to flex their muscles after the interval, though profligacy and the mis-timing of supporting runs dogged their attacks. Rapid brought on United States international centre forward Terrence Boyd as they tried to spark a comeback, and their momentum steadily built.

Thanos Petsos twice coaxed decent stretching saves from Thun No1 Guillaume Faivre, who then made himself big to decisively block substitute Lukas Grozurek as he raced clear late on.

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