Match Details
Season :
Date :
11th August 2022
Competition :
Europa League
Venue :
Stadion Letzigrund, Zurich
Referee :
Harm Osmers (GER)
FC Zürich Scorers :
Avdijaj 11' & 26', Santini 84'
Linfield Yellow Cards :
Cameron Palmer 33', Joel Cooper 59', Kyle McClean 65'
FC Zürich Yellow Cards :
Kamberi 62', Hornschuh 81'
Linfield Team :
Chris Johns,Daniel Finlayson, Matthew Clarke, Conor Pepper (Kirk Millar 85'), Sam Roscoe, Michael Newberry, Jamie Mulgrew (Josh Archer 85'), Kyle McClean, Cameron Palmer (Andrew Clarke 78'), Joel Cooper (Ethan Devine 63'), Chris McKee (Eetu Vertainen 63')
Linfield Subs not used :
David Walsh, Matthew Williamson, Ben Hall, Chris Shields, Stephen Fallon, Robbie McDaid
FC Zürich Team :
Brecher, Kamberi, Kryeziu, Aliti, Marchesano (Santini 74'), Conde (Hornschuh 46'), Boranijasevic (Rohner 66'), Guerrero, Selnæs (Džemaili 74'), Aiyegun, Avdijaj (Krasniqi 46')
FC Zürich Subs not used :
Kostadinovic, Okita, Gnonto, Mets, Seiler, De Nitti, Omeragic
Defeat at Letzigrund Stadion in the second leg of Linfield’s Europa League Third Qualifying Round tie against Swiss champions FC Zurich means the Blues will now drop into the play-off round of the UEFA Conference League where the Blues will face RFS of Latvia for a shot at the group stage.

Blues boss David Healy made a number of changes to his team as a number of players – including Ben Hall, Chris Shields and Stephen Fallon - who are a booking away from a one-game suspension were left out of the starting line-up and a number of players made their first European starts, on a night when temperatures were in the twenties.

Trailing 2-0 on aggregate from the first leg, the first goal in Switzerland was going to be key. Linfield knew they needed to claim it if they were to turn things around. Unfortunately for the Blues, it didn’t turn out that way as the hosts took the lead on eleven minutes.

David Healy’s men had been positive in the early exchanges but this crushing blow came ruthlessly as the Swiss champions opened the scoring with a quick counter-attack. Antonio Marchesano played a precise pass and it was finished off by forward Donis Avdijaj who slipped in between Linfield defenders before firing a shot underneath the crossbar, past Chris Johns who got fingers on it but was beaten by the power.

FC Zurich then doubled their lead on 26 minutes. Highly-rated Spanish left wing-back Adria Guerrero whipped in a pinpoint cross from the left wing for Donis Avdijaj who timed his run well to get in between Sam Roscoe and Matthew Clarke to head in his second. It was a well-taken header, headed down into the ground with power which helped it flash past Chris Johns.

Half Time: FC Zurich 2-0 Linfield

The Blues were more threatening in the second half and the 42 travelling supporters almost had something to cheer about when Kyle McClean went close. Eetu Vertainen crossed dangerously into the box and the ball sat up nicely for the arriving McClean to volley from around ten yards, but he was denied by a hugely impressive save from FC Zurich ‘keeper Yanick Brecher who somehow pushed the powerful volley over the crossbar.

McClean had another good opportunity when he took a free-kick stationed right on the edge of the box but he couldn’t find the corner as the goalkeeper made a more comfortable save this time. Ethan Devine and Andrew Clarke also tried their luck for the Blues but Devine’s header flashed wide and Clarke couldn’t get the power he desired on his strike from 20 yards.

FC Zurich’s new signing Ivan Santini added a late third goal for the hosts as the 33 year-old Croatian international got across the front post to convert a low right wing cross from close range.

The Blues fought to the end and their European dream is still alive. Linfield will travel to Latvia for next Thursday’s away leg before the return leg at Windsor Park on Thursday August 25 which should be a huge night in Belfast.

Full Time: FC Zurich 3 – 0 Linfield

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