Zarate celebration GEPA Pictures

Red Bull Salzburg have an away goal to take into the second leg of their Champions League qualifier against Omonia Nicosia – and were only seconds away from a victory.

Gonzalo Zarate’s goal gave the Austrian champions an eighth-minute lead in Cyprus only for a stoppage-time penalty from Tresor Lomana Lua Lua to level the scores at 1-1.

Salzburg coach Huub Stevens said: “We played well in the first half, scored the goal but we panicked in the final few minutes and threw away the win. Nonetheless I think that 1-1 is a good result and, with the support of our fans, we can do it in the second leg.”

The Cypriots were grateful for the draw after a mistake from their goalkeeper, Dragoslav Jevrić, gifted the visitors the lead as he allowed a shot from Zarate to squirm through his grasp.

Salzburg, who named new signing Joaquin Boghossian on the bench, had the better of the match and David Mendes da Silva came close to doubling the Red Bulls’ lead twice in the first half.

Christoph Leitgeb's strike was parried by Jevrić in the second period and Salzburg were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal.

After Leandro was felled by Mendes da Silva inside the penalty area, Lua Lua stepped up to dispatch the spot kick.

Stevens’ side host the second leg of the third qualifying round tie on August 4. Assuming the Red Bulls are successful they will then have to negotiate a two legged play-off to secure entry into the Champions League group stages.


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