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Hinteregger the hero as Salzburg sink Qarabağ

FC Salzburg 2-0 Qarabağ FK (agg: 3-2)
A Martin Hinteregger double proved enough to edge the Austrian hosts past Gurban Gurbanov's men.

Salzburg players leap onto the back of Martin Hinteregger after the defender scored
Salzburg players leap onto the back of Martin Hinteregger after the defender scored ©GEPA

Martin Hinteregger proved the hero for FC Salzburg after his first-half double helped the Austrian champions overturn a first-leg deficit and edge past Qarabağ FK into the UEFA Champions League play-offs.

With his side 2-1 down after a 2-1 defeat in Azerbaijan last week, 21-year-old defender Hinteregger squared up the tie with a powerful header 18 minutes in and got what proved to be the crucial goal 16 minutes later as he turned in a rebound at close range. The hosts pushed to extend the advantage but no more goals came and, after a nervy finish, eventually celebrated their place in Friday's draw. 

After a cagey start, Salzburg struck first. Christoph Leitgeb delievered a wicked corner and Hinteregger met it perfectly to head past the helpless Ibrahim Šehić. Home captain Jonatan Soriano drove a powerful shot just over the bar ten minutes later, but Qarabağ carried a threat too, Vüqar Nadirov breaking only to shoot straight at Péter Gulácsi.

The visitors were made to pay for that miss on 34 minutes when Hinteregger pounced to double the lead after Šehić had kept out Kevin Kampl's shot. Adi Hütter's men dominated proceedings from then on but failed to establish a more substantial lead, Soriano having a free-kick well save before Alan's skidding shot passed just wide.

Šehić again denied Kampl after the interval and Alan wasted a glorious chance to sew the tie up, shooting straight at the Qarabağ No1 when clean through with 19 minutes to go. Another Soriano free-kick missed the target late on but the two goals proved enough.