Zurich book date with Hearts as ex-Jambos flop fires big warning - dates and times confirmed

Hearts will take on Zurich in their Europa League play-off tie after the Swiss champions eased past Linfield in the third qualifying round.

Zurich's Donis Avdijaj played three matches for Hearts in 2020.
Zurich's Donis Avdijaj played three matches for Hearts in 2020.

Leading 2-0 from the first leg in Belfast, Zurich went into the return match with a comfortable cushion, but Franco Foda’s men did not take their foot off the pedal and recorded a 3-0 triumph in front of their own fans at the Letzigrund Stadion.

Zurich’s star of the show was former Hearts winger Donis Avdijaj, who spent six months at Tynecastle in the first part of 2020. The Kosovan only played three matches during the ill-fated Daniel Stendel era but earned a move to the Swiss from Austrian outfit Hartberg. He scored twice against Linfield, on 11 and 26 minutes, to give them a 2-0 lead at the break.

Croatian forward Ivan Santini added a third six minutes from time to complete a good night’s work for Zurich.

Hearts will now travel to Switzerland on Thursday, August 18, although the match will be played at the Kybun Park in St Gallen due to a concert being hosted at Zurich’s home ground with a 7pm kick-off CET (6pm BST).

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The return leg is due to be played a week later at Tynecastle (kick-off 8pm BST on Thursday, August 25), with the overall winner advancing to the Europa League group stages. The losers will drop into the Europa Conference League group stages.