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YB fails at Sporting Lisbon

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YB fails at Sporting Lisbon

The Young Boys draw 1-1 at Sporting Lisbon and are therefore eliminated from the Europa League. Silvere Ganvoula ensures an honorable farewell for the Bernese with his goal.

The Young Boys’ goalie, David von Ballmoos, showed a strong performance. For example, when he saved Viktor Gyökere’s penalty.

Jose Sena Goulao / EPA

(sda) This “miracle” is probably a bit overused. Especially when two teams meet in the context of a football game in which one is clearly favored and there is actually nothing – apart from a miracle – that suggests that the other will prevail.

Even in the run-up to the Young Boys’ encounter with Sporting Lisbon in the round of 16 of the Europa League, the Bernese exponents repeatedly spoke of a miracle that they would need to make up for the loss from the first leg (1:3). Late on Thursday evening, after Bern’s 1-1 draw at the Estádio José Alvalade XXI, it was clear that the Young Boys’ European Cup season ended in Lisbon – and the Swiss champions were far from a miracle, i.e. progress.

Strong goalie from Ballmoos

The Bernese wanted to stay compact for as long as possible, then repeatedly threaten with quick counter-attacks and thus reduce the mortgage goal by goal. But it didn’t take long until this became even bigger for YB: after just under a quarter of an hour, Francisco Trincão let Aurèle Amenda out with a clever through ball to strike partner Viktor Gyökeres. The Swede then let Amenda’s partner in the YB defense center, Fabian Lustenberger, come to nothing with a physical deception. David von Ballmoos in the Young Boys goal had no chance of defending after the powerful finish.

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It would be the only goal for the home team, but they would have had the chance to score four or five goals. It is an indication of which YB player was able to present himself the most on this cool February evening: goalie von Ballmoos. The Emmental player made strong saves a few times, for example against Trincão (63′) or Gyökeres (80′), or he was lucky when Marcus Edwards was unable to put a perfect cross from Gyökeres into the goal (45′). The 29-year-old showed his brilliant performance in the 57th minute when he parried a weakly taken penalty from Gyökeres.

Lustenbergers Foul

Silvere Ganvoula did better in the 84th minute, scoring a hand penalty for YB and thus giving the Swiss champions, who until then had only made a sparse offensive appearance, an honorable farewell from the European stage.

Fabian Lustenberger may have made his last appearance on the European stage in Lisbon. An unfortunate one at that, as he caused Sporting’s penalty with a clumsy kick in the legs. The day before, the YB captain was asked at the press conference whether the Swedish striker, with his power and goal threat, reminded him of Erling Haaland, the Norwegian in Manchester City’s attack, who posed problems for the Young Boys in the group stage of the Champions League . Lustenberger replied cautiously that Gyökeres and Haaland were comparable in a certain way, at least they were both Scandinavians. Despite the leading question, which was aimed at exactly that, Portuguese portals had the headline: “YB captain compares Gyökeres with Haaland.”

Whether the 25-year-old will one day move in similar spheres to Haaland does not seem to be ruled out. The release clause of 100 million euros that Sporting had written into his contract is evidence of the immense expectations placed on the striker. In Portugal’s capital, the fans of the Green-Whites are not only dreaming of their first championship title since 2021. But also of their first European success since 1964, when Sporting won the “European Cup Winners’ Cup”, a predecessor competition to the Europa League. At least the Portuguese have taken the next step towards their second European trophy. The way to the final in Dublin is still a long way for the round of 16. Gyökeres or not.

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