African joy as Red Bull Salzburg claim Austrian Cup

There was a significant African representation as Austrian giants Red Bull Salzburg won the Austrian Cup with a ruthless 5-0 destruction of second-tier Austria Lustenau
Red Bull Salzburg’s captain Andreas Ulmer (C) raises the trophy as he and his teammates celebrate winning the Austrian Cup final between FC Red Bull Salzburg and SC Austria Lustenau in Klagenfurt, Austria on May 29, 2020. (Photo by Erwin SCHERIAU / APA / AFP) / Austria OUT

There was a significant African flavour in the air as Austrian giants Red Bull Salzburg won the Austrian Cup with a ruthless 5-0 destruction of second-tier Austria Lustenau in the final as the Austrian football season resumed following a suspension due to the coronavirus crisis.

In a match played without spectators at the Woerthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, the favorites took control of the match with two quick-fire goals midway through the first half.

Dominik Szoboszlai put Salzburg ahead from a free kick in the 19th minute and Dominik Stumberger put through his own goal two minutes later as Lustenau, making their second final appearance, fell apart.

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Noah Okafor took advantage of poor marking to fire the third in the 53rd minute, Ghanaian midfielder Majeed Ashimeru fired in the fourth from the edge of the area in the 65th minute before Malian substitute Sekou Koita completed the rout when a clearance ricocheted off him and into the net.

Zambian striker Patson Daka played for 78 minutes before he was replaced by exciting youngster Karim Adeyemi while Cameroonian defender Jerome Junior Onguene also came on as a substitute in the win.

It is the seventh time that Salzburg has won the competition, all of them in the last nine seasons. They have seven African players and two of Nigerian descent, attackers Karim Adeyemi and Noah Okafor, registered on their books.

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The win also made manager Jesse Marsch the first American born/raised manager to win a cup or a league in Europe. The trophy also represents the second major trophy Marsch has earned as a head coach, having guided Red Bull New York to the 2015 Supporters’ Shield.

The match marked the beginning of a return of domestic football in Austria, with the league set to resume on June 2. Salzburg were also handed a big boost in their quest for that title this week, as previous league leaders LASK Linz were docked six points for holding team training sessions in violation of pandemic rules.

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