Emil Forsberg took advantage of a late defensive lapse to give Malmö FF hope at the halfway stage of their UEFA Champions League play-off despite defeat against a Jonatan Soriano-inspired FC Salzburg.
• Schiemer and Soriano give Salzburg two-goal lead
• Spanish forward Soriano strikes woodwork three times
• Forsberg grabs 90th-minute away goal
• Austrian side are chasing first play-off win
• Second leg takes place in Sweden on 27 August
Absent from the group stage since 1994/95, the Austrian champions appeared determined to make a return and Christoph Leitgeb was the first man to serve warning to the Swedish visitors with a wicked low effort which was turned away by Robin Olsen in the Malmö goal. The Swedish outfit were under almost constant pressure but escaped upfield to carve out an opening for Markus Rosenberg, who was denied sharply by Péter Gulácsi from close range.
Salzburg were ahead on 16 minutes when Soriano's powerful effort was turned against a post and defender Franz Schiemer met the rebound with a precision volley. The rest of the half belonged to Soriano, who hit the woodwork twice more before the interval, smashing a dipping free-kick against the crossbar before catching a dropping ball sweetly to rattle the upright.
The limelight shifted from the Spanish forward momentarily after the restart as team-mate Marcel Sabitzer turned a sharp pullback wide at the near post before Olsen denied Andreas Ulmer. Soriano could not be kept out of the action, however, and eventually got this goal in the 54th minute, curling expertly around the wall to slip his free-kick slip inside the bottom corner. Olsen's legs then denied the 28-year-old a second when he seemed certain to score.
Salzburg were given a reminder that they could not get complacent as an outstanding Gulácsi stop prevented Rosenberg's shot from five metres giving Åge Hareide's men an away goal. However, the hosts failed to heed the warning, gifting Forsberg a late goal when miscommunication between Gulácsi and defender Schiemer presented the forward with an open net to keep his team's chances alive.