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It wasn’t enough: LASK lost 2-3 against Salzburg

It wasn’t enough: LASK lost 2-3 against Salzburg
Moses Usor (LASK) met Oumar Solet (Red Bull Salzburg)
Image: EXPA/UWE WINTER (APA)
SOCCER - OEFB Cup, LASK vs RBS
Referee Julian Weinberger in action.
Image: GEPA pictures/Christian Moser (GEPA pictures)
SOCCER - OEFB Cup, LASK vs RBS
Gerhard Struber (RBS)
Image: GEPA pictures/Christian Moser (GEPA pictures)
SOCCER - OEFB Cup, LASK vs RBS
George Bello (LASK) took a beating.
Image: GEPA pictures/Christian Moser (GEPA pictures)
SOCCER - OEFB Cup, LASK vs RBS
LASK fans stuck by their heroes.
Image: GEPA pictures/Christian Moser (GEPA pictures)

Football series champions Red Bull Salzburg started the spring with a 3-2 win in the cup quarter-finals at LASK. The Bundesliga leaders prevailed on Friday in front of 14,700 spectators in Linz thanks to goals from Lucas Gourna-Douath (15th) and Fernando (28th, 51st). Marin Ljubicic (18th) and Sascha Horvath (94th) scored for LASK. Last year, both clubs failed against eventual cup winners Sturm Graz – Salzburg in the quarter-finals and LASK in the semi-finals.

As expected, Salzburg came out of the winter break with a new game system. Gourna-Douath moved into the center of defense between Oumar Solet and Strahinja Pavlovic, who was not taken into account in the last test last week for disciplinary reasons, which thus became a three-man chain. On the offensive, Luka Sucic and Oscar Gloukh supported centre-forward Fernando, who was repeatedly set back by injuries in the autumn, in the half positions.

SOCCER - OEFB Cup, LASK vs RBS
Referee Julian Weinberger in action.
Image: GEPA pictures/Christian Moser (GEPA pictures)

At LASK, ex-Salzburg player Valon Berisha was in the starting line-up after six months without a club. The Linzers started ambitiously, but were caught off guard by Gourna-Douath. The Frenchman slammed the ball under the crossbar after an unwanted header assist from LASK defender Philipp Ziereis. Gourna-Douath may have been offside on Maurits Kjaergaard’s previous free-kick cross, but the video assistant did not intervene.

The hosts hit back through Ljubicic, who pushed the ball into the goal after a mistake by Gourna-Douath, but conceded another goal from a set piece before the break. After a Kjaergaard corner, Fernando rose highest and headed in on the ground. Gourna-Douath pressured LASK goalie Tobias Lawal in the six-meter area.

SOCCER - OEFB Cup, LASK vs RBS
Gerhard Struber (RBS)
Image: GEPA pictures/Christian Moser (GEPA pictures)

On the other hand, Alexander Schlager had his hands full against his former club. The ÖFB team keeper saved a shot from Moses Usor from 20 meters (36′) and was also alert to a deflected Ljubicic cross (38′). George Bello couldn’t find Ljubicic, who was ready to shoot (42′). Apart from an offside goal from Gloukh, there was little to be seen offensively from Salzburg.

That changed after the break when Gloukh fed Fernando with an ideal pass from the outside of his foot. The Brazilian, whose fitness the Bulls have high hopes for, completed his brace before making way for Roko Simic. Schlager thwarted the goal with a brilliant save on a dropkick from Robert Zulj from twelve meters (71st) and was also on hand when a deflected Usor shot (75th). Ziereis shot over after a blocked free kick from Florian Flecker (81′). Horvath made it 2:3 with a powerful shot after a pass from Zulj, but the Linz team no longer had a chance to equalize.

SOCCER - OEFB Cup, LASK vs RBS
George Bello (LASK) took a beating.
Image: GEPA pictures/Christian Moser (GEPA pictures)

LASK suffered its first home defeat of the season in national business. No other Austrian team has won in the Raiffeisen Arena in Linz, which opened last year – Salzburg achieved this for the third time. The Bulls took revenge for a 0-1 home defeat in their only league duel of the season at the end of October. In the 2022 Cup quarter-finals, Salzburg beat their rivals from Linz 3-1.

SOCCER - OEFB Cup, LASK vs RBS
LASK fans stuck by their heroes.
Image: GEPA pictures/Christian Moser (GEPA pictures)

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