The match at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha became an evenly contested affair in summery temperatures. Reyna (with a header) and Zulj were unable to take advantage of good opportunities for Salzburg in the first half. As the game went on, the Red Bulls increasingly gained control but were unable to penetrate the compact Russian defence with some misplaced finishing and final balls not helping. Hulk won the game for Zenit with an elegant chip over Alexander Walke.
OTHER THINGS TO NOTE:
• The Red Bulls were without Alan (illness), Fränky Schiemer (inflammation), Rodnei (knee), Stefan Hierländer (knee) and Eddie Gustafsson (also knee).
• Roger Schmidt made seven changes from his starting line-up for the Bayern match.
• Jonatan Soriano had a 50th-minute penalty saved by Malafeev in the Zenit goal, after the referee had asked for his first spot kick to be retaken.
• The substitutes of both teams took places high up in the shade of the stands to avoid the intense heat.
• Interested spectators included Red Bull Salzburg sports director Ralf Rangnick, managing director Jochen Sauer and the Russian Ambassador to Qatar.
• The second friendly match of the training camp is scheduled for Monday 27 January at 18:00 local time against Sudanese champions Al Merrikh.
• A highlights package of the match is available from this afternoon on redbullsfan.tv.
• The Red Bulls have another training session scheduled for this afternoon before a day off tomorrow. The team are to take a trip to the desert.
VIEWS ON THE MATCH:
Roger Schmidt: "We played well again today and deserved to win. Hulk then changed it all with a piece of brilliance. It is important for us though to play our own game. The strength of the quick Zenit side on the break was an extra challenge for us today.”
Alexander Walke: "Even if we gave the odd chance or two away on the break in the first half, we had a decent performance and we mostly dominated the opponents. We had the better openings and it is always annoying when you don’t use them. You saw with the goal why Hulk is worth 50 million Euro.”
FACTS & FIGURES:
FC Red Bull Salzburg: Walke; Klein, Ramalho, Hinteregger, Ulmer; Meilinger, Lazaro, Berisha, Svento; Reyna, Zulj.
Substitutions: Soriano for Zulj (46’), Ilsanker for Lazaro (46’), Mané for Svento (46’), Fountas for Ulmer (61’), Dossou for Meilinger (61’), Leitgeb for Berisha (61’), Kampl for Reyna (69’)
Zenit St. Petersburg: Malfeev; Anyukov, Hubocan, Neto, Criscito; Hulk, Witsel, Fayzulin, Shirokov; Arshavin, Kerzhakov.
Substitutions: Timoshchuk for Witsel (46’), Zyryanov for Shirokov (46’), Smolinkov for Neto (46’), Lombaerts for Anyukov (46’), Shatov for Fayzulin (46’) Rebenko for Kershakov (77’).
Yellow cards: Ilsanker (53’, foul)- Criscito (35’, foul), Hulk (63’, foul)