Brenden Aaronson added another title to his growing collection, playing the final half-hour in their dominant Austrian Cup final victory over SV Ried to help them secure the domestic double.
SV Ried 0 – 3 RB Salzburg
After having started Salzburg’s previous two games, the American was moved to the bench to begin Sunday’s final, as head coach Matthias Jaissle opted to keep some cards in the deck should the game go past the initial 90 minutes.
In the end, it was already clear shortly into the second half that the Red Bulls would get the job done in regulation, paving the way for Aaronson’s entry shortly past the hour mark.
Karim Adeyemi had a chance in the early going when he streaked into the area on the left side and had a narrow angle on goal, however Ried defender Tin Plavotic was able to clear it off the line.
Adeyemi did trigger Salzburg’s opener in the 27th minute, laying the ball off from the upper left corner of the area to Luka Sucic at 25 yards out, just left of center. The Croatian international struck his shot on the first touch, sending the ball to the upper right corner where it bounced off the underside of the crossbar and over the line for the 1-0 lead.
Salzburg keeper Philipp Köhn did well to rob Ante Bajic of an excellent chance for equalizer in the 47th minute when he made a diving save of the midfielder’s shot from the left.
Then Maximilian Wöber made it 2-0 for the reigning champions five minutes later, heading in a deep cross from Noah Okafor at the edge of the six-yard box.
Aaronson entered the game two minutes past the hour in place of right-sided midfielder Nicolas Capaldo to further stretch the tired Ried defense. This injection of energy had some immediate impact, as barely one minute later Adeyemi seemed to have struck the 3-0, only to see it called back for offside.
To their credit, Ried did fight until the end and were unlucky to have not at least pulled one back. Köhn saved another Bajic shot in the 68th minute, then Wöber prevented a Ried goal with an acrobatic midair clearance of a chip from Leo Mikic in the 84th minute.
Moments later, Wöber was spared blushes when a seemingly clear-cut handball infraction was ignored by the referee, drawing the ire of the Ried squad and sideline staff.
Aaronson had a chance to put Salzburg ahead in the 87th minute, however his shot was well off-target. This was soon forgotten when less than a minute later Adeyemi earned his second assist of the game, sending in a cross from the left at the end of a counter, with Benjamin Sesko leaping to finesse the ball over the line to seal the final 3-0 win.
With the result, the team secures their ninth Austrian Cup title, their fourth straight, as well as their fourth straight domestic double.
Extended video highlights can be found at the ÖFB website.
Aaronson and co. still have three more games to play in the league before the summer break, beginning with Sunday’s home game against Wolfsberger AC.