The Gruériens were about to take the door. It was done. They then scored three times between the 115th and 119th minutes to get their ticket from Uzwil (5-4). Triple scorer, says Arthur Deschenaux.
The 1st Division has an advantage that no other division in Switzerland can boast of. We believe that the best compromise between level of play and involvement is required. In other words, for reasonable daily efforts, you can face some very interesting resistance on the weekend. It’s not an exact science, there are many exceptions, but it’s where the fourth national division tends to, where many of the top players pack their bags and rejoice that they don’t have to cross Switzerland every week. The exceptions? FC Bulle had a memorable Saturday.
The Gruériens, 3rd in group 1 of the 1st class, were expected in Uzwil, 8th in the third and last group. This never happens during normal times, except when it is a Swiss Cup final or qualifying match. Like Saturday. “Going to St. Gallen once in the season is okay. Three hours by bus on the way there, the same on the way back… We had heavy legs on the way there. And I think we can say they stayed in this condition for much of the game, FCB striker Arthur Deschenaux squeaks.
From bad to worse
uzwil? De Friborg described. “Their sports complex is beautiful. Their country is somewhat reminiscent of that of Bavois. In any case, the wind blows quickly. The game seemed to matter to the people there. There must have been between 300 and 500 people. Since there are no stands, it quickly gives an impression of numbers as they pile up along the barriers.
So much for the journey that is three times longer than that of everyday life. And for the quality level of the game… “It’s been a long time since we’ve been this bad. Uzwil, they, have just risen from the 2nd interleague: it shows. Let’s just say they don’t hesitate to set foot in the door. Anyway, it has to be one of the weakest teams we’ve faced this season.” The framework has been set: nothing goes. The ideal atmosphere to allow for an unlikely match.
The Bullois start with two gifts, alternating with two goals to balance the scales. 2-2 at half-time, and Saint-Gallois at ten for the loss of their double scorer by exclusion just before half-time. “Their best player, moreover”, blows Arthur Deschenaux. Everything should have become easier. But not on Saturday, with this ticket for the next edition of the Swiss Cup at stake.
Last chance circle
“We started to stress, to think about the matter. At one point I thought back to the round of 16 we played against Lausanne-Sport in September, to this brilliant match (Note: lost 3-2 in extra time at Bouleyres†† I told myself there was no way we could have missed the opportunity to draw a great team again because of such a terrible game. However, we went less and less towards the beautiful, even at 11 against 10. The space between our lines increased. In the end, there was no middle: one defense, one attack, point.
Come the extra time, and the two hammer blows. Uzwil led 4-2 in the 100th minute. “While we had shaken all the poles of the stadium”, the former player of Yverdon Sport and FC Lucerne hopes, 169 first league matches on the clock. Lucien Dénervaud, Bullois’ trainer, shows his last card. “We met between the two extensions, in a circle. The coach sent us every possible positivity, everything he had left. I don’t know if I really believed in it then. Considering how superior we were, probably a little.
Ten minutes pass. Nothing. FC Bulle was good to try their luck again next year and return home in cathedral silence. 115th minute: 4-3. Heap. A hand foul, a penalty: 4-4 in the 116th! “You should know that I hardly ever score with a header,” warns Arthur Deschenaux, a little too modest on this point. It’s in the air that the ball arrives, ultimately putting this encounter in the pantheon of the craziest matches in the category. 119th, the headline of number 25 is perfect. The Gruériens scored just three times in four minutes. They will play the next Swiss Cup.
“When the referee whistled, we had won the Champions League for us. We have forgotten everything.” 115 minutes of hardship for a happiness that extends into next summer and the first round of the competition.Arthur Deschenaux smiles.“The return per coach passed in the blink of an eye.”