Red Bull Salzburg 1 (Jezek 86)
Red Bull win 2-1 on agg.
Patrick Jezek was the hero for Red Bull Salzburg as he capitalised on a late defensive mishap to head the Austrian team into the third qualification round of the Champions League in Dublin last night.
A 1-1 draw in Salzburg last week had put Bohemians in the driving seat, but Jezek’s goal four minutes from time now means the Austrians will face Dinamo Zagreb in the next round
As the game went into its final stages it looked as though Bohemians were about to secure passage against their more glamorous opponents. However, an awful header from Mark Rossiter back to his keeper was seized upon by Jezek, who nodded the ball over the onrushing Brian Murphy.
As the net bulged a packed Dalymount Park fell silent, and the only cheers that could be heard were the ones of relief echoing from the visitor’s dugout.
The host’s had started brighter and began to create problems for Red Bull Salzburg in the 12th minute. A Killian Brennan free-kick from the right found Jason Byrne and his looping header landed on the top of the visitor’s net.
The away side responded a couple of minutes later when a well worked move ended when Christoph Leitgeb shot inches wide from just inside the box.
A cross from the left wing by Conor Powell then forced Douglas Gustafsson to tip the ball over for a corner, after it nearly dipped in under the crossbar.
The referee also denied both sides some half-hearted penalty appeals in the first period and he blew for half-time with Bohemians still having the advantage on the away goals rule.
After having the lion’s share of possession in the first half, the host’s were put on the backfoot during the second. The first opportunity arrived eight minutes in, when Murphy dived bravely at the feet of Marc Janko, who had found space in the area.
The host’s last chance of the match arrived just after, when Jason Byrne and Joseph Ndo played a neat one two at the edge of the area, only for Gustafsson to get his body behind Byrne’s strong effort.
Red Bull upped the tempo after this and made three quickfire substitutions in a bid to find the elusive goal. Janko had a header that went an inch wide of the post and then, with Bohemians unable to retain any kind of possession, Thomas Augustinussen forced a brilliant point blank save from Murphy.
The Irish side were visibly exhausted now and just as they dared to dream of the next round, Jezek popped up to snatch victory away through Rossiter’s slack header.
After the match Bohemians boss Pat Fenlon reflected on the losing goal: “The players had all been terrific up until then, over the two legs they didn’t deserve to go out and especially not like that.”
Unfortunately for Bohemians the defeat may have more serious repercussions. As one of Ireland’s only full time clubs, they had conceded beforehand that they needed a decent European run to maintain that status. A return to the semi-pro ranks now looks a certainty for the Irish champions.
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