FC Salzburg came from two goals down to overcome ŠK Slovan Bratislava and seal a place in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.
Needing to match Paris Saint-Germain FC's result at home against Athletic Club to stay above them on head-to-head away goals, the Austrian outfit gave themselves a mountain to climb by falling behind to two Miloš Lačný strikes inside the first six minutes. They responded to the challenge, however, thanks to Jakob Jantscher's penalty, Leonardo's strike and an own goal by Marián Had.
Lačný gave the hosts the lead on three minutes after exchanging passes with Igor Žofčák, cutting inside from the left and dispatching a polished finish. Without a win in five group stage away games, the visitors appeared stunned and conceded another Lačný goal three minutes later, the 23-year-old controlling a long ball down the middle with his right foot, before beating Alexander Walke with his left.
Ricardo Moniz's side had it all to do but were handed a lifeline when Jantscher's free-kick was handled by Karim Guédé; the midfielder drilled in the spot kick. The visitors' tails were up and they levelled on 24 minutes when Lukáš Pauschek gave the ball away to Leonardo, who weaved inside from the right and fired left-footed past Lukáš Hroššo.
Five minutes before the end of a breathless first half Slovan almost restored their lead when Žofčák concluded a sweeping counterattack with a clever chip from 25 metres that narrowly missed the target. Vladimír Weiss's side were left to rue the miss early in the second period when Had swept Jantscher's low centre past his own keeper.
Thereafter it was one-way traffic with Salzburg passing up the best chance to make the tie safe on 68 minutes, Jantscher side-footing over. Fortunately for the midfielder, his miss did not cost his side their Group F runners-up spot and a place in Friday's draw.
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