Ali Sowe’s Skënderbeu claim historic Europa League place

Gambia striker Ali Sowe was in jubilation mood as his Albanian club KF Skënderbeu claimed a historic UEFA Europa League group stage qualification after holding Croatia’s Dinamo Zagreb to a goalless draw in the play-off to qualify 1-1 on aggregate.

Their qualification into Europe’s second most prestigious tournament came thanks to a priceless away goal in the first leg encounter.

Sowe, who joined the Albanian Cup runners-up on a one-year loan deal from Italian Serie A club Chievo Verona earlier this month, was instrumental for the hosts who were down to ten men and had to come off to a standing ovation after his substitution in the 86th minute.

The 23-year-old Scorpions international and his club have now been drawn in Group B of the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League alongside Serbian side Partizan Belgrade, Ukraine’s Dynamo Kyiv and BSC Young Boys of Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Hamza Barry and Hajduk Split fell to a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Everton with the English club securing qualification to the Europa League group stages.