Former New York Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch and Red Bull Salzburg returned to Champions League action on Tuesday, picking up a win that has them primed for a group-stage return. Salzburg traveled to Israel to face Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the first leg of a two-legged playoff, overcoming an early goal to take a 2-1 win back home with them to Austria, where the second leg will take place on Sept. 30.
The winner of the series will move onto the Group Stage of UCL.
It got off to an inauspicious start for Salzburg, who fell behind 1-0 inside 10 minutes when Tel Aviv's Dan Bitton lofted home the opener.
Tel Aviv would manage to hold onto the lead until early in the second half, when they conceded a penalty kick that was slotted home by Salzburg's Dominik Szoboszlai.
That set the stage for Masaya Okugawa, who made a smart run in front of goal as teammate Paston Daka sent in a cross, and made no mistake with a point-blank finish in the 57th minute for the eventual game-winner.
Whether Marsch & Co. can finish it out in the second leg and earn a coveted group-stage berth for the second year running will certainly be an interesting storyline to keep an eye on for American soccer fans who remember his successful stint on the sidelines for RBNY. Marsch joined Salzburg in 2019 and led them to a 2019-20 Austrian league and cup double in his first season in charge while also putting on some eye-catching performances in European play.