Before jetting off to winter training camp in Side: 2:1 vs. Parndorf
Welcome back, Andi Kuen!
Following the 9:0 win against Neusiedl/See and the 1:3 reverse against FAC, Rapid rounded off their early preparations with a match on Wednesday afternoon against Burgenland side Parndorf. Again, 250 Rapid fans braved the freezing conditions to watch a side including the returning Andreas Kuen take on opponents from the Regional League East. It was great to see Andreas back on the pitch after all of his bad luck with injuries in the previous year.
Rapid soon found their rhythm against the side managed by Norbert Schweitzer, the former long serving coach of the Rapid reserves, and started creating early chances: Stefan Nutz went close from a free kick (3.), before Nutz then set up Matej Jelic who failed to find net from a good scoring position (11.). Against the run of play the guests took the lead through Babic (29.); but one always felt that Rapid could move through the gears at will and turn the game. Stefan Schwab rattled the frame of the goal with an excellent shot, before Stangl also passed up a decent opportunity (37.). Rapid finally got back on level terms when Nutz cashed in on a precise cross from Schwab to restore parity with a clinical header just five minutes before half time - 1:1 (39.).
As expected, a swathe of changes took place at half time, with much changed Hüttledorfer 11 emerging for the second half. Zoran Barisic again used the match as an opportunity to assess some youngsters from the reserves, as Szalai, Gashi and Tüccar all got minutes on the pitch. There was a decent level of commitment on display from both sides, but concrete chances were proving hard to come by. As the game entered the Rapid-Viertelstunde Deni Alar scored with a composed finish to give the Green & Whites the lead for the first time in the game - 2:1 (76.). Alar (77.) and Tüccar (79.) both then missed chances to give Rapid a little breathing space, but no-one would come closer to adding to the score-line in the remainder of the game than Ceyhun Tüccar, who hammered a shot onto the crossbar as the game moved into injury time (90.). The 2:1 win rounded off a trio of friendly fixtures as the boys head off on Friday for their annual winter training camp in Turkey.