REPORT: Red Bull Salzburg 2-0 Southampton

By SFC Media Sat 11 Jul Club

Southampton lost 2-0 to tournament hosts Red Bull Salzburg in the Audi quattro Cup play-off at the Red Bull Arena.

After losing 1-0 to Valencia in the semi-finals, Saints were beaten again as goals from Havard Nielsen and Dimitri Oberlin sealed victory for the Austrian hosts.

Ronald Koeman named a completely different side for the play-off against Salzburg following the defeat to Valencia in the semi-finals.

Steven Davis captained the side, with Dušan Tadić also featuring for the first time since he picked up an injury towards the end of the previous campaign.

The hosts had the game’s first effort, with Felipe Pires finding space on the edge of the box to unleash a half-volley that Maarten Stekelenburg did well to push away from danger.

Saints, playing in their green away strip for the first time, had their first chance come and go just after the ten-minute mark. Tadić’s free-kick, after Shane Long had been fouled, was blocked by the wall as he looked to strike it low.

Tadić was then given another chance to put Saints ahead five minutes later, but he couldn’t quite get the ball out of his feet from Jay Rodriguez’s cross and the chance was gone.

Stekelenburg was again on hand at the other end to keep out Smail Previjak’s drive from distance in what was proving to be an open encounter.

The Dutch goalkeeper would be beaten soon after however. Despite keeping out Pires’s strike from the edge of the area, Nielsen was on hand to head home the rebound from 12 yards.

After Rodriguez had gone close at the other end, Salzburg doubled their lead. Oberlin finished smartly having been found by Pires inside the penalty area.

Pires and Nielsen both went close to extending Red Bull’s lead, while Rodriguez and Long almost got a goal back for Saints, but they were unable to mount a late comeback.

The defeat brought to a close an important week on the road for Saints in Austria as Koeman's side continue their preparations for the 2015/16 campaign.

Southampton team: Maarten Stekelenburg, Cédric Soares, Maya Yoshida, Florin Gardos, Joshua Debayo, Dominic Gape, Steven Davis (c), Gastón Ramírez, Jay Rodriguez, Dušan Tadić, Shane Long.

Southampton substitutes: Kelvin Davis (GK), Armani Little, Jordan Turnbull, Sam McQueen, Sam Gallagher, Jake Hesketh, Will Wood.

Red Bull Salzburg team: Cican Stankovic, Benno Schmitz, Naby Keita, Felipe Pires, Havard Nielsen, David Atanga, Christoph Leitgeb, Daniel Raischl, Smail Previjak, Dimitri Oberlin (Jonatan Soriano 39), Michael Brandner.

Red Bull Salzburg substitutes: Alex Wlake (GK), Reinhold Yabo, Takumi Minamino, Stefan Lainer, Martin Hinteregger.

Goals: Havard Nielsen (19), Dimitri Oberlin (23)

Attendance: 10,832

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