Patson Daka scored early to lead Red Bull Salzburg past Wolfsberger FC in the Austrian Bundesliga season opener. The game was dominated by the reigning champions' usual high-pressure offense and accentuated the level of play Jesse Marsch and his side have produced.
"I've learned that it's not easy to play here," said Marsch after the game. "We have to be warriors on the pitch and ready for a real battle. The performance was decent and we had control of the match. We aren't in top form, which is normal for the first match, but it was an important win."
Daka may feel cheated by the game's first goal, an own-goal off of a shot from the Zambian striker. The ball took a deflection and bounced past the keeper for the opening salvo. From there a 27th minute effort was no doubt after bringing the ball down to his foot with his chest for the finish. All signs pointed to an easy three points from there with Wolfsberger showing little fight despite being at home.
The second half saw the opposition show some fight. They pressed the tired legs of Salzburg but were unable to come up with a goal. Sloppy passing was pounced on but Marsch's team didn't surrender a goal. Masaya Okugawa made sure that the game was solidified in the 82nd minute when he dribbled into the box and found the foot of teammate Sekou Koita for the third goal. Wolfsberger did add a consolation goal in stoppage time it did little to ruin the occasion.
Salzburg will remain in league play this week as they host Cashpoint SCR Altach at Red Bull Arena for their home opener.