RB Salzburg failed to qualify for the Europa League round of 32 despite beating Schalke 2-0 in their final match of Group I at the Red Bull Arena on Thursday night.
- Salzburg 2 Schalke 0
- Schlager opens scoring
- Radosevic doubles lead
- Wolf has goal disallowed
- Salzburg fail to progress
Superior finishing proved the difference on the day as RB Salzburg grabbed a 2-0 win over Schalke, despite the match being a fairly even contest throughout.
— FC Red Bull Salzburg (@RedBullSalzburg) December 8, 2016
Xaver Schlager gave the home side the lead in the 28th minute and Josip Radosevic made sure of the win deep into injury time but Schalke still finished top of the group and Salzburg failed to qualify for the next round because Krasnodar scored more goals than them in the group stage.
The Miners began the match knowing that, no matter what, they would end the night top of their group after winning all five of their previous matches in the Europa League.
Salzburg were bottom of the group, but still stood a chance of gaining access to the round of 32 if they beat Schalke and Nice beat Krasnodar by a big enough margin.
The difference in attitude was clear and the Austrians could have had the lead inside the first 10 minutes, but Schlager’s effort was well blocked by Benedikt Howedes.
However, the German defender was not to be denied and in the 22nd minute, he latched on to a piercing through-ball from Valentino Lazaro before slotting a neat effort into the bottom corner to put the home side 1-0 up.
Schalke could have been back on level terms moments before half time when Donis Avdfijaj hit a seemingly unstoppable long-range effort, but Cican Stankovis pulled off a remarkable save to keep his side ahead.
Stabkovic was called into action again after the break after Fabian Reese was played though and, once again, he was up to the task.
Salzburg thought they had doubled their lead in the 77th minute when Hannes Wolf had the ball in the back of the net, but the referee called play back for offside.
They were able to find a second goal four minutes into stoppage time when Radosevic burst through on goal and slid the ball past the goalkeeper.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for the Austrians, who finished the group stage level on points and goal difference with Krasnodar, but placed third in the group by virtue of scoring two fewer goals than the Russian outfit.