Fenerbahçe earns dramatic last-minute draw against Salzburg in CL
Fenerbahçe returns to Turkey with an away-goal that may be crucial on aggregate. AA photoCoach Ersun Yanal will want to quickly forget his official debut with Fenerbahçe as the Yellow Canaries managed to obtain a miraculous 1-1 draw against Red Bull Salzburg thanks to a last minute penalty goal in the first leg game of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round in Austria.
After failing to beat Volkan Demirel, Salzburg had finally found the opening goal in the 68th minute with their Brazilian striker Alan Carvalho. But another Brazilian, Cristian Baroni, responded in the 94th minute from the penalty spot.
The eliminatory seemed grim for Fenerbahçe, which was facing its first big test with their new transfers Bruno Alves, Michel Kadlec and Alper Potuk on the pitch. However the man of the game was Demirel, who made two crucial saves during the beginning of each half.
Former Liverpool star Dirk Kuyt was also key in the draw, less for his offensive skills than his defensive impetus. In the 48th minute, the Dutch saved on the line a shot that passed Demirel.
Fenerbahçe increased its possession and doubled pressure after Salzburg’s first goal with subtitutes Moussa Sow and Baroni's mobility. The Yellow Canaries found their best opportunity in the 80th minute when Sow’s rocket was only deflected by the post.
The Istanbul side was lucky enough Portuguese referee Duarte Gomes showed the penalty spot in their last attack after a handball in Salzburg’s defense. With only seconds remaining, Baroni did not miss the golden opportunity to grab an important draw with an away-goal in Austria.
The return game will be played at the Şükrü Saraçoğlu stadium August 6.
Fenerbahçe was a last-minute addition to the Champions League draw on July 19, after it was handed a two-year ban due to match-fixing by European football’s governing body, UEFA.
The Yellow Canaries are awaiting a final decision on whether they will be allowed to continue in the competition after initially being banned by UEFA for the team’s role in a 2011 domestic match-fixing scandal. Fenerbahçe has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which provisionally overturned the UEFA ban, allowing the club to be included in the draw, pending a full hearing.
A decision is due to be made on August 28, just one day before the draw for the Champions’ League group stages takes place. If Fenerbahçe reaches that stage, it could still be excluded before the draw is made.