Ndo grabs precious away goal


SOCCER/Red Bull Salzburg 1 Bohemians 1:BOHEMIANS WILL take a significant advantage into next Wednesday’s second leg of this Champions League qualifying tie after Joseph Ndo’s precious equalising away goal an hour into last night’s game in Salzburg gave the Dubliners a hard-earned draw.

It was a tough night for the Dublin side with Salzburg edging the possession and working hard to close their visitors down.

However, Pat Fenlon’s side held their nerve and the draw puts the onus on Salzburg to come and get something out of the game at Dalymout if they are to progress to the next round.

Ndo had only to knock the ball home from a couple of yards for the equaliser after Jason Byrne beat the goalkeeper and a couple of defenders at the far post to head Killian Brennan’s long looping cross from the left back across the face of goal.

Fenlon had said before the game that the former Cameroon international’s experience might prove critical when it came to grabbing whatever chances came his side’s way and so it proved with the close-range strike the only clear-cut chance the Irish side created during the 90 minutes.

The Austrians, on the other hand, carved out more than a dozen opportunities to add to their tally with the bulk of them coming after the unchallenged Milan Dudic had headed home Dusan Svento’s corner.

Fenlon will be disappointed with the way his men defended the corner with the poor marking leaving Brian Murphy little chance to make a save. The goal, though, hardly took away too much from what was a memorable night for the Waterfordman.

The goalkeeper made a succession of great stops and looked consistently solid when coming off his line time after time to gather at the feet of approaching opponents. But the highlight of his evening came shortly before Ndo’s goal when Ken Oman wrapped himself around Marc Janko who promptly hit the deck inside the area.

The Danish referee pointed to the spot and Janko, last year’s leading scorer for his club, picked himself up to take the penalty. It wasn’t a bad effort either with the ball looking set to reach the bottom right corner only for Murphy to get down swiftly to his left to push it around the post.

Bohemians also rode their luck a little at times with Janko firing a fine volley off the underside of the bar from close range with Murphy beaten, and Robin Nelisse missing the target with a five-yard header late on when he really should have done better.

Then, in the dying seconds, with the Austrians piling forward in search of a winner, some neat attacking play down the left ended with Svento hitting a shot across goal which Murphy brilliantly parried before Louis Ngwat Mahop clipped the wrong side of the post with his follow-up shot.

Moments later the home side’s hopes of coming to Dublin with a lead to defend were ended by the final whistle and Bohemians, predictably enough, looked by far the happier of the two sides.

SALZBURG: Gustafsson; Dudic, Schwegler, Opdam (Jezek, 65 mins), Svento, Cziommer (Ilic, 63 mins), Janko (Nelisse, 73 mins), Sekagya, Leitgb, Aufhuser, Ngwat Mahop.

BOHEMIANS: Murphy; Rossiter (Madden, 92 mins), Shelley, Oman, Powell; J Byrne (A Murphy, 73), Deegan, Ndo, Keegan, Brennan; Crowe.

Referee: N Vollquartz (Denmark).