Winterthur is promoted to the Super League, Aarau misses Barrage

FC Winterthur returns to the Super League. Zurich overtook Aarau on the last day of the Challenge League due to the better goal difference and are back in the top Swiss division after 37 years.

Winterthur’s Sayfallah Ltaief (left) scores against SC Kriens to make it 2-0 and celebrates with his teammates.

Urs Flüeler / Keystone

(sda) Alex Frei’s team needed 26 minutes at relegated Kriens to set the course for victory. Top scorer Roman Buess scored his 15th goal of the season with a flick from the edge of the penalty area. Six minutes later, Sayfallah Ltaief raised after drawing in from the left and hitting the top right corner. The outcome of the game in the Kleinfeld stadium was therefore indicated early on. In the end, the result was a sovereign 5:0, thanks in part to Buess scoring twice.

In order for the Winterthur team to make it back to the Super League at the last minute, they were dependent on support. Only if FC Aarau, who started the season finale from pole position, lost against Vaduz could FCW overtake them.

In Aarau, the euphoria before the game was huge. The 8,000 tickets at Brügglifeld were quickly sold out and some were offered for sale on the internet at absurd prices. Everyone was sure that promotion would have to work out this time, after it had been lost dramatically in 2019 in the Barrage against Neuchâtel Xamax and after a 4-0 lead. But the disaster for Stephan Keller’s team began early on Saturday evening. Tunahan Cicek gave the Liechtensteiners the lead after eleven minutes with a flick. As a result, FCA made an effort, after all, one goal would be enough to turn the tide and be back at the top of the virtual table.

Donat Rrudhani’s shot went inches wide just after the break and Randy Schneider’s shot smacked the bar in the 55th minute. It was plays that kept alive the belief that the equalizer would eventually come after all. But Cicek escaped fifteen minutes before the end and put a severe damper on Aarau’s hopes with his lob to make it 2-0. Mickael Almeida missed the goal a little later, completely free-standing. Shkelzen Gashi made sure in the 83rd minute with a foul penalty that the FCA was still able to attack.

Since Schaffhausen, the third with promotion ambitions, had taken a 2-1 lead against Lausanne-Ouchy in the meantime, it was either promotion or nothing for the Aarau team, because in the event of a defeat, FCS would be allowed to play the barrage against Lucerne or Sion. Since Almeida shot wide again shortly before added time and Benjamin Büchel in the goal of Vaduz could not be defeated, the scenario happened that nobody in Aarau would have wished for: the seventh season in the Challenge League will be followed by an eighth , the trauma of 2019 is supplemented by a chapter 2022.

Meanwhile, Super League football will be on display at the Schützenwiese in Winterthur next season. After 37 years of absence, FCW is back in the national elite.

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