Nicolás Capaldo struck late for Red Bull Salzburg to condemn AS Roma to their first European defeat to Austrian opposition, ensuring the hosts will take a slender advantage into the second leg of their UEFA Europa League knockout play-off tie.
Due to a lengthy winter break, Salzburg had only played two competitive games in 2023 prior to their crucial European meeting with Roma, but they showed no signs of rustiness in the opening exchanges.
Chances were proving to be few and far between in the second period, yet Capaldo’s deflected shot from distance had Patrício scrambling to his left before the ball eventually dropped wide.
Roma, who were a constant threat from set-pieces, nearly carved out a winning goal from a late corner-kick, as Chris Smalling towered above the Salzburg defence to knock the ball down into the path of Andrea Belotti, but the Italian striker was denied by the remarkable reactions of Köhn, who pushed the close-range strike onto the crossbar.
However, it was the Austrians rather than their Italian opponents who found a dramatic winner, with Capaldo thumping a header past Patrício from Pavlović’s teasing cross, ensuring the first competitive meeting between the two sides went the way of the hosts.