Karabakh beats Salzburg in UEFA Champions

By: Nigar Orujova

Azerbaijani football club Karabakh overcame Austrian Salzburg 2-1 in the first game of the two-legged encounter in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League on July 30.

Karabakh’s goals came from Danilo Dias at the first minute of the game and at 86s minute by Reynaldo, who was dismissed by the referee seconds after scoring his team’s winning goal at the Tofig Bahramov stadium in Baku.

The game of the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League brought together over 22,000 football fans.

The return match will take place in a week on August 6 in Austria.

Head coach of Karabakh Gurban Gurbanov said: “I am glad that we’ve managed to win, although the contender is very strong. We had problems in the second half, but we won. It is worth a lot to beat such a team. We will prepare for the return meet.”

Gurbanov went on saying that Salzburg is stronger than it was at the game.

Congratulating everyone with the win, President of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) Rovnag Abdullayev said: “We must pass the Austrian barrier. For this purpose, we need to prepare well and play cautiously. We are obliged to return home with a good result.”

Salzburg’s Head Coach Adolf Hutter congratulated Karabakh.

“Karabakh once again proved that it can play a collective football. Nevertheless, we have our own plans. We want to win in the second match and pass on,” Hutter stressed.

Karabakh also plans to win. Midfielder Vugar Nadirov said: “The game was heavy enough, but we were able to win. We want to fulfill the desire of our fans and enter the next round. I hope that we will return from Austria with a good result. Today we have proved that we are strong enough to defeat any team. But we cannot relax. The main match will be on the road.”

Salzburg’s defender Andre Ramalho also noted the game was tough. “Karabakh showed a good game,” he said. “But we will well prepare for the second leg, and I believe that winning, will enter to the next round.”

Earlier, Karabakh beat Maltese Valetta in both games.

Karabakh Aghdam club, formed in 1951, is one of the two teams in Azerbaijan, along with Neftchi Baku that has participated in all Azerbaijan Premier League championships to date.

The club is immensely well supported around Azerbaijan mainly because it is the only team representing war-torn Nagorno-Karabakh region in the league.