FC Zurich Loses 1:2 to FC Slovan Liberec
FC Zurich has lost the second leg match against FC Slovan Liberec 1:2 tonight and has failed to qualify for the UEFA Europa League playoffs.
Just like in the first leg match last Thursday, the team of head coach Urs Meier again had a good start to the game and the players really tried their very best to rectify the 1:2 deficit from the first encounter in Liberec one week ago. A header by Amine Chermiti was the first good scoring opportunity of the night.
After 17 minutes and a foul on FC Zurich striker Mario Gavranovic, Pedro Henrique's free kick found Chermiti in the middle of the box who deflected the ball into the net to put FC Zurich in the lead – this score would have qualified the home team for the Europa League playoffs. FC Zurich had a few more chances to increase this lead, and after 25 minutes and a delivery by Marco Schönbächler, Chermiti gave away the best of them when he missed just narrowly and hit the post. At half-time, FC Zurich could certainly have led the Czechs by a bigger margin than just the one goal.
And then suddenly the inevitable happened: Following a Liberec corner about an hour into the game, FC Zurich's defenders were not able to clear the ball and Frydek would not let this chance go by unused – he equalized the score for the Czechs. The home team seemed shocked and unable to react, and 15 minutes before the final whistle, Rybalka was granted too much freedom – he twisted the ball into the upper corner from 20 meters to put his side through to the Europa League playoffs.
FC Zurich will be facing reigning Swiss champions FC Basel in the next Super League game this Sunday.
FC Zurich - FC Slovan Liberec 1:2 (1:0)
Letzigrund – attendance: 5,915 – referee: Strömbergsson (Sweden)
Goals: 17 Chermiti 1:0, 64 Frydek 1:1, 84 Rybalka 1:2
FC Zurich: Da Costa; Philippe Koch, Raphael Koch, Djimsiti, Benito; Chiumiento, Rikan (75 Buff); Schönbächler (88 Kukuruzovic), Gavranovic (75 Etoundi), Pedro Henrique; Chermiti
FC Slovan Liberec: Kovar; Kusnir, Kovac, Kelic (53 Sural), Fleisman; Rybalka; Frydek (75 Kalitvintsev), Pavelka, Sackey (70 Karisik), Delarge; Rabusic
Notes: FC Zurich without Nef (suspended), Kukeli, Teixeira (both injured / convalescent), Chikhaoui (absent / has resumed training after illness), Di Gregorio and Kajevic (both not on the squad).
Bookings: 19 Sackey (foul), 86 Raphael Koch (foul)