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.


Coronavirus forces fan ban at Italian football games

Updated 25 February 2020

Coronavirus forces fan ban at Italian football games

  • The Europa League game between Inter Milan and Ludogorets on Thursday will be affected
  • Italy reported its fifth death from the virus on Monday and it has the most confirmed cases in Europe

ROME: Upcoming matches in Italian Serie A and the Europa League will be played behind closed doors to combat the spread of coronavirus, the Italian sports minister announced on Monday evening.
“Following the demands of the sports world and knowing that the ban on sporting events open to the public remains in force in six regions of northern Italy, we have agreed to the holding of matches behind closed doors,” said Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora after a meeting of the Council of Ministers.
The Europa League game between Inter Milan and Ludogorets on Thursday will be affected, but the minister did not specify which Serie A matches at the weekend would be included in the ban.
There are six games in the regions he mentioned, including the clash on Sunday evening between leader Juventus and third-place Inter.
Italy reported its fifth death from the virus on Monday and it has the most confirmed cases in Europe.
Napoli’s Champions League match against Barcelona on Tuesday is not at risk.
The alternative to banning fans is to postpone games and Gabriele Gravina, the president of the Italian Football League made clear earlier in the day that he was opposed to thats.
“We have made an official request to Health Minister Roberto Speranza to have this game played behind closed doors,” Gravina told the press. “We expect a quick response, but we have been told that the outcome will be positive.”