Derby County Under-19s fell to a 4-1 defeat to FC Salzburg to bow out of the UEFA Youth League in the Round of 16.
It was a historic and unbelievable debut campaign for the Rams in the European competition that saw them defeat Belarusian side FC Minsk and Icelandic side IA Akranes over two legs in the opening stages before an impressive3-1 victory over German giants Borussia Dortmund in the play-offs to set up the one-off fixture in Austria.
As the only former champions left in the competition after they beat the current holders Porto in the previous round, Salzburg were no doubt going to be a massive challenge to overcome to reach the quarter final.
Thy proved that in the first three minutes when they took the lead through Nicolas Seiwald’s free-kick.
Tyree Wilson drew the Rams level mid-way through the half with a superb, calm and collected low finish. However, Salzburg found the lead once more in added time through Chikwubuike Adamu. The striker found another in the second-half before Luka Sucic added a fourth moments before the final whistle.
The hosts raced out to an early lead after just two and a half minutes. The referee awarded Salzburg a free-kick for a foul on Tobias Anselm on the edge of the box. Seiwald stood over the effort from a central position 20-yards out and curled the set-piece into the right of the goal after Derby’s Archie Brown was sent off late in the game for a second yellow car.
Salzburg imposed their strength in the opening stages as the Rams worked out how to deal with their physicality. Derby began to break them down and back-to-back corners, and chances, came on the 15-minute mark. Jaden Charles delivered the set pieces from either side with the first finding Archie Brown at the far post and his headed effort was smartly saved by Salzburg’s goalkeeper. The resulting corner found Eiran Cashin in front of goal for anther goal-bound header, this time into a defender’s body on the line.
The Rams’ goal came two minutes later after Liam Thompson and Jordan Brown’s patience in midfield. The pair won the ball back in the midfield before Thompson fed out to Charles. The full-back sent a low ball through to Wilson who burst into the box, picked his spot and expertly fired a low shot into the back of the net.
Salzburg added another goal in the first minute of added time ahead of the break when Adamu when he rose in front of goal and headed in.
The striker found his second midway through the first half. Bradley Foster dived to keep out an initial long-range shot from Karim Adeyemi but it rebounded into the path of Adamu who tapped in to extend the lead to two.
Just two minutes later, A. Brown was sent off when he was shown his second yellow card of the game.
Derby looked to pull one back late on when Festy Ebosele showed off his blistering pace down the middle of the pitch, only to be hauled down on the edge of the box and Charles fired the effort over the crossbar.
The hosts then sealed their progression in the fourth minute of five minutes of added time from a set piece after Eiran Cashin pulled down Benjamin Sesko just outside the box. Sucic stepped up and sent their fourth goal in.
The Rams’ European adventure came to an end in Salzburg, and they return their attention to the domestic league and a trip to the USA next month when they face more international competition in the Dallas Cup which was another award for being crowned National Champions last season.
FC Salzburg: Antosch; Wallison, Affengruber, Okoh (Oroz, 45), Dedic; Seiwald, Sucic, Anselm; Adeyemi (Sesko,79), Adamu (Bukta, 83), Prass (Aigner, 86)
Unused Subs: Schrocker, Major, Bockle
Derby County: Foster; Ebosele, Minkley, Cashin, Brown, Charles (Rogers, 87); Brown; Dixon, Thompson (Bardell, 65); Wilson; Stretton
Unused Subs: Halwax, Matthews, Cybulski, Aghatise, Solomon
PHOTO CREDIT: FCRBS/GEPA pictures