Salzburg dumped out of Champions League

Updated 26 July 2012

Salzburg dumped out of Champions League

BERNE: Salzburg were knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers by Luxemburg’s Dudelange on Tuesday, continuing an astonishing run of failures in the competition since Red Bull took over the Austrian club.
Last season’s double winners, who enjoy substantial financial backing from the energy drinks company, beat visitors Dudelange 4-3 in their second qualifying round, second leg tie but were eliminated on away goals after losing 1-0 last week.
Red Bull took over the club in 2005 with ambitious plans of making Salzburg Champions League regulars, only to see their team fail five times in a row in the qualifiers.
The only time they have taken part in the group stage was as the old Austria Salzburg in 1994/95.
Their latest failure is a huge setback for coach Roger Schmidt and sporting director Ralf Rangnick, the former Schalke 04 coach, who took over in the close season.
Salzburg’s troubles in Tuesday’s match began when they lost possession in midfield, allowing Thierry Steinmetz to break clear and score in the 26th minute.
Jakob Jantscher and Martin Hinteregger put Salzburg 2-1 ahead at halftime, only for Aurelien Joachim to level with his sixth goal in four matches in the qualifying tournament.
Steinmetz struck again to make it 3-2 but Dudelange then had to endure a nerve-wracking finale after forward Sofian Benzouien was sent off in the 74th minute.
Salzburg’s Cristiano converted an 81st minute penalty and fellow substitute Gonzalo Zarate scored a minute later to put the hosts ahead on the night but the Austrians could not find the fifth goal they needed in the final eight minutes.
A goal in the last minute of extra-time away to Kazakhstan’s Shakhtyor IK gave Czech champions Slovan Liberec a 1-1 draw which sent them through 2-1 on aggregate.
Norwegian side Molde, coached by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, went through 4-1 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw at Latvian champions Ventspils and in the third qualifying round will face Swiss champions FC Basel, who last season eliminated his former club Manchester United.
Two goals from Cameroon striker Jacques Zoua and one from Chilean midfielder Marcelo Diaz, Switzerland’s most expensive close season signing, gave Basel a 3-0 win over Estonia’s Flora Tallinn as they completed a 5-0 aggregate victory.
Debrecen, one of only two Hungarian sides to have played in the group stage, beat Albanian champions Skenderbeu 3-0 to qualify 3-1 on aggregate and Lithuanian champions Ekranas ended the hopes of Ireland’s Shamrock Rovers with a 2-1 win. Two goals from Nemanja Tomic helped Partizan Belgrade to a 3-1 win over Malta’s FC Valletta as they went through 7-2.


Iran teams’ AFC Champions League matches moved to UAE

Updated 22 January 2020

Iran teams’ AFC Champions League matches moved to UAE

  • Tensions were raised earlier this month by the killing of an Iranian army general by a US drone strike in Iraq
  • The Iranian teams will play against Bahrain and Kuwait
KUALA LUMPUR: Two Iranian football clubs’ AFC Champions League preliminary round matches have been moved to a neutral country because of security fears, Asia football’s governing body announced Wednesday.
The Asian Football Confederation said the ties — Shahr Khodro FC of Iran v Riffa of Bahrain and Iran’s Esteghlal FC v Kuwait SC — will now be played in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, January 25.
Both the matches were scheduled to be played in Iran on Tuesday but were postponed and “moved to neutral venues because of ongoing security concerns and the decision of several governments to issue travel warnings to the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said an AFC statement.
Tensions were raised earlier this month by the killing of an Iranian army general by a US drone strike in Iraq.
Iran’s armed forces subsequently shot down a Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 in error soon after take-off from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board.
The four football teams representing Iran in the AFC Champions League — Esteghlal, Persepolis, Sepahan and Shahr Khodro — have all threatened to boycott the competition if they are banned from hosting matches.