July 13, 2010: UEFA Champions League, 2nd qual. round, 1st leg:

FC Red Bull Salzburg (Aut) - HB Tórshavn 5-0 (2-0)
21' 1-0 Gonzalo Zarate
43' 2-0 Roman Wallner
46' 3-0 Jakob Jantscher
64' 4-0 Andreas Ulmer
82' 5-0 Stefan Hierländer

Although the Austrian champions Red Bull Zalzburg didn´t look like any formidable force, it was still enough to comfortably beat the Faroese champions HB 5-0. But although Salzburg had practically all of the possession, the winning margin was unnecessary big as HB’s defence was simply too sloppy and un-concentrated and gave the Austrian bulls too long a rope.

However, HB started the match brightly when a cross from the left found Fróði Benjaminsen in the penalty area, but Benjaminsen’s shot was blocked by a defender. Except from a wild shot from Rógvi Poulsen that went way off target, that was HB’s only attempt during the entire match.

Salzburg quickly started to create chances and a goal looked imminent. After four wasted opportunities in the first 10 minutes they finally made one count after 20 minutes. A cross from the left found Argentinian Gonzalo Zarate at the far post, and with a simple move to the left he wrong footed HB’s defender and fired the ball into the back of the net with a flat shot from 7 metres.

The lead was almost doubled four minutes later, but HB survived the scare when Roman Wallner’s deflected shot from the edge of the penalty area hit the post.

On 35 minutes a fumble from goalkeeper Marcin David nearly cost a goal, but in his 3rd attempt, he finally managed to clutch on to the ball. Less than two minutes later, Dawid had to be alert and parry a shot from Zarate from a tight angle.

With less than 3 minutes remaining of the first half Salzburg doubled their lead after a low cross from Dušan Švento on the left set up Jakob Jantscher for an easy finish as he reacted quicker than HB’s defenders. Again the goal was a result of careless defending as HB had plenty of men in the area, but still gave away room and time for the Austrian.

If the first half had ended disappointingly for HB, the start of the second half was catastrophic as Salzburg score after only 37 seconds! Andreas Ulmer wasn’t challenged outside the penalty area and fired the ball straight into the top far corner. Goalkeeper Dawid made no real attempt to save and just watched the ball go in. – Maybe the almost looping shot, which dipped late, was un-savable.

Around the hour-mark Salzburg nearly made it 4-0 from a corner, but Pætur Jørgensen saved off the line and straight into the bosom of the goalkeeper.

However, the Austrians didn’t have to wait long for their 4th goal as they only a couple of minutes later almost juggled their way through HB’s defence by simply lifting the ball over HB’s defenders two or three times with simple touches to play Wallner clear for an easy finish.

With 10 minutes remaining, Salzburg finished the rout when Ulmer’s cross from the left set up Stefan Hierländer with a free header from close range, but although Dawid made a fine save from the initial header, the ball rebounded off the post back to Hierländer who this time headed home for 5 Salzburg’s 5th goal of the night.

Although HB were easily outplayed today, it's difficult to see how Salzburg should qualify for the group stage of the Champions League. They were not that good - far from it!

The return leg will be played in Gundadalur Stadium in Tórshavn on Tuesday 20 July. The European matches usually don’t pull big crowds in the Faroes, and with a 5 goal deficit to start the match with, not more than a handful of spectators are to be expected. For today’s match the crowd was over 9,000.

July 20, 2010: UEFA Champions League, 2nd qual. round, 2nd leg:

Símun Samuelsen hits Bull´s-eye
as HB Tórshavn beat
Red Bull Salzburg

HB Tórshavn – FC Red Bull Salzburg 1-0 (0-0)
'73 1-0 Símun Samuelsen

The first 45 minutes produced very few scoring opportunities and neither goalkeeper was tested properly. Although Salzburg had a clear majority of possession, they posed no threat up front. A deflected shot from long range which went into the side-netting, was the closest the visitors came.

Midway through the half HB sensed that there was space to play in on the Austrian's half and a few times they came forward, and especially Símun Samuelsen on the left flank was in reasonable positions to finish, but chose to cross, but accuracy was missing.

Salzburg still had the majority of possession during the second half, but it was HB who produced the better scoring opportunities. One of those came in the 56th minute as the hardworking Samuelsen intercepted a careless pass from Salzburg's stand-in goalkeeper Alexander Walke and played Andrew av Fløtum clear in the penalty area, but av Fløtum, who had to turn before he could shoot, fired the shot straight into the flesh of the advancing goalkeeper.

Midway through the half, HB went close again with a fine header from Icelandic centre-back Thorður Hreidarsson who had come forward in connection with at freekick, but Walke just managed to tip the ball over the crossbar.

But five minutes later Walke could do nothing in stopping Símun Samuelsen from giving HB the lead. HB intercepted a sloppy Salzburg-pass on the HB-half and countered quickly, where Levi Hanssen played forward to Andrew av Fløtum in midfield who again played Símun Samulsen who entered the penalty area with speed, a bit to the left, and fired the ball straight into the far top corner of the goal.

Although 18 minutes were still remaining, Salzburg never managed to put HB under any real pressure. Maybe Tórður Thomsen in the HB-goal had one save to make. That was about all. Thomsen, who has just joined HB from AB Argir, played his first match for HB today.

In the end, the win was well deserved as it was HB who produced the better scoring opportunities although Salzburg had more of the possession.

In the next round Salzburg meet AC Omonia Nicosia who beat HB 8 -1 in aggregate in the 2nd qualifying round in last season's Europa League.

Símun Samuelsen's Bull's-eye

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