June 1, 2018
By Sahr Morris Jnr
Sierra Leone international Umaru Bangura and his FC Zurich side booked a spot in the 2018/19 Europa League group phase after the Swiss top-flight club defeated Young Boys 2-1 in the Swiss Pokal Cup final at the Stade de Suisse.
Bangura, 30, who was not part of the match day squad due to injury, was however with the team in celebration as the victory means his team will be joining the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and AC Milan in the Europa League next season.
This was Bangura’s second piece of silverware in Switzerland since joining the team in August 2016.
And despite not playing in the finals, the Sierra Leonean native was in the Zurich side that defeated Grasshoppers 2-1 in the semis.
Bangura recently signed a new contract extension to remain at the club until 2021. He has been a pivotal figure in the Zurich club’s automatic promotion back to the Swiss top flight.
The City club has now won the Swiss Cup 10 times.
Villarreal, Real Betis, Bayer Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Chelsea, Arsenal, Lazio, AC Milan, Marseille, Rennes, Krasnodar, Aves, Vorskla, Anderlecht, Akhisarspor, Jablonec and FC Zürich are all assured of a UEFA Europe League place next term.
All 17 of these teams are assured of a UEFA Europe League group stage slot. A further 21 group stage berth will be decided via qualifying in the summer while ten more clubs transfer from the UEFA Champions League.