February 25, 2024

YB wins over Belgrade and spends the winter in Europe

Former YB junior Lewin Bloom made it 2-0 for the Bernese. Image: fxp-fr-sda-rtp

Young Boys won the decisive match of the Champions League group stage to finish third and can therefore compete in the knockout round of next year’s Europa League.

In a group that includes defending champions Manchester City and Bundesliga powerhouse RB Leipzig, it was clear from the start that third place, which would mean reaching the last 16 of the Europa League, would be the emotional high for YB. Therefore the duels against Red Star were of particular importance.

In the first leg in Belgrade, Bern equalized in the 88th minute, making the score 2-2. The two matches in the 2019 Champions League qualifiers had already ended in a draw. This time the Swiss champion had the necessary competitive luck on his side.

The early score came at 1-0 in the eighth minute in very fortunate fashion. First, Mirko Ivanic passed a corner kick from Filip Ugrinic to the feet of Loris Benito, whose shot from close range was blocked by Belgrade goalkeeper Emre Glazer, but onto the leg of Kosta Nedjelkovic, as the ball went into the goal.

In the 29th minute, local player Lewin Bloom raised the score to 2-0 with his first goal of the season. The 22-year-old full-back scored with a shot from the edge of the penalty area after wonderful preparatory work by Captain Ali Kamara, in which Glazer did not appear at his best. As in the 1-0 match, the starting point for the goal was a corner kick.

They served Bern well with a 2-0 scoreline. Because they started the match very nervous. In the 4th minute, Al-Shabab goalkeeper Anthony Racioppi made up for his mistake after a failed pass by maintaining the upper hand past Cherif Ndiaye, who was the only one in front of him to finish the ball. Two minutes later, Ndiaye was free to head the ball, but was unable to capitalize.

Even after the break, Byrne’s performance was far from confident. They were lucky again in the 57th minute when Hwang In-beom’s shot hit the post. Four minutes later, Jovan Mijatović missed the goal from a privileged position, and in the 63rd minute, Racioppi spoiled another good opportunity for the visitors. After that, YB caught themselves to keep the score at 2-0.

YB's Loris Benneteau, Ulises Garciam goalkeeper Anthony Racioppi and Mohamed Ali Kamara, from left to right, celebrate after a 2-0 win during the Champions League Group G match between Switzerland...

YB managed to avenge the defeat against Belgrade in the 2019 Champions League qualifiers.Image: Cornerstone

In their first two appearances in the First Division, in 2018 and 2021, Young Boys did not go beyond last place in the group, despite their impressive 2-1 victory over Manchester United in the first two years ago. However, Red Star are the weakest opponent that Bern has faced in the Champions League so far. Therefore, it would have been a huge disappointment if they had not been able to spend the winter in Europe.

A 2-0 win not only brings Young Boys bonuses of up to 3.3 million euros – 2.8 million for a win and 500,000 for reaching the last 16 of the Europa League. It is also important for the UEFA country coefficient. In the five-year ranking, which determines the number of places a country gets in the relevant European competitions, Switzerland currently ranks twelfth. Now Bern can only score points this season in the final group game on December 13 in Leipzig, which is important.

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Young Boys – Red Star Belgrade 2:0 (2:0)
S. R. Makeley.
Portals: 8. Nedeljkovic (own goal) 1-0. 29. Bloom 2:0.
Little boys: Racciopi. Bloom, Camara, Benito, Garcia; Males (Collei No. 46), Ogrenik, Niasse, Joel Montero (Chiwa No. 74); Elijah, Nesami (74. Genvola).
Red Star Belgrade: Glazer Nedeljkovic, Deja, Dragovic, Rudic; Mijajlović (Katay 83); Staminic (59. Lucic), Ivanic (59. Kraso), Hwang In-beom (90. Kanga); Bockarie, Ndiaye (46. Jovan Mijatović).


Multiple scorers in the Champions League


Multiple scorers in the Champions League

5 goals: Erling Haaland (Manchester City) in a 7-0 win over Leipzig on March 14, 2023.

Source: Imago Images/Pro Sports/Imago Images

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