BERN (Reuters) - Young Boys Bern ended a 32-year wait to win the Swiss league when they clinched the title with a dramatic 2-1 win over FC Lucerne on Saturday, ending FC Basel’s eight-year dominance of the competition.
Young Boys survived a missed penalty before substitute Jean-Pierre Nsame scored an 89th minute winner to claim their 12th league title with four matches to spare.
There were wild scenes — far removed from the Swiss image as reserved and unemotional — as hundreds of fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate on the final whistle, many carrying flares, while several players wept with emotion.
Young Boys, one of Switzerland’s biggest clubs, last won the title in 1986 and have finished runners-up eight times since then, including the last three seasons.
The most agonising of those second place finishes was in 2009-10 when they squandered a 13-point lead and lost the title on the final day of the season with a 2-0 defeat by Basel, who began their run of eight titles in a row.
Basel’s dominance had become a worry for the Swiss League and drawn complaints about the Champions League revenue distribution as the money they earned from Europe’s elite club competition gave them far more spending power than their rivals.
Lucerne seemed determined to play the role of party-poopers as Christian Schneuwly put them in front two minutes after halftime.
Guillaume Hoarau levelled with a penalty five minutes later, then Young Boys goalkeeper Marco Woelfli tipped Valeriane Gvilia’s 77th minute penalty onto the bar.
In a highly charged atmosphere, the hosts missed a flurry of chances before Cameroonian Nsame turned in the winner with one minute left.
Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern; Editing by Christian Radnedge