31.08.2010 11:18

Rapid suffer Euro hangover in Linz - 0:1

"A thousand thank you's for the Villa Killers" read the banner displayed by the 2000 strong Rapid contingent in Linz on sunday. Following the Europa League heroics, it was back to the bread and butter of the Austrian Bundesliga and a short trip to Oberösterreich to face LASK. The Linz side had endured a disappointing start to the season, failing to gain even a solitary point so far and therefore propping up the table. Pacult reverted to 442 for the match, pairing Salihi with Birmingham goal hero Nuhiu in attack. Both forwards were soon into the action, Salihi testing Mandl in the Linz goal after five minutes, before Nuhiu picked up his first yellow card in Rapid colours two minutes later. On 13 minutes Kayhan fed Hinum. The midfielder's attempt on goal was cut out by Aufhauser. On the quarter hour mark, Veli Kavlak fully extended Linz keeper Mandl from a free kick. The Linz custodian just managed to tip the ball away to safety. The Green Whites nearly stole ahead on 21 minutes, unfortunately Salihi failed to apply the finish to a Kavlak ball across the 6 yard box. An industrious Linz team, despite plenty of full blooded challenges, were struggling to get out of the own half and fashion a noteworthy chance. The half time whistle blew with Raimund Hedl proving to be little more than a spectator in the Rapid goal. Both teams emerged from their respective half time team talks showing no changes to the starting line ups. Unfortunately, the Hütteldorfers let two more decent second half chances slip by in the shape of Salihi (51) and Hofmann (56). As so often is the cause in football, Rapid were made to pay the price for failing to convert domination into goals as the hosts stole the lead completely against the run of play, Aufhauser doing his best burglar impression as he stabbed home for the Black & Whites. It nearly got worse for Rapid as Hedl was forced to deal with a 1 on 1 situation in the 64th minute. To the Green Whites relief the reliable stopper came out best in a head to head for the second time this week after already seeing off Stilian Petrov from the penalty spot in Birmingham. Despite intense pressure Rapid couldn't force an equaliser. Steffen Hofmann, so often the Rapid saviour, nearly did it again but his 75th minute free kick cannoned back off the crossbar. Gartler, Sonnleitner and Katzer all had further chances to force the issue but the hosts somehow held on to the most unlikely of three points. It was a disappointing way to lose following three successive victories, but the international break provides welcome relief for the Hütteldorfers, who now have a fortnight to prepare ahead of the first Vienna derby of this season. 6th Round: LASK - Rapid 1:0 (0:0)Linzer-Stadion, 9.800, Ref. Krassnitzer Goal: Aufhauser (60.) LASK: Mandl - Krammer, Piermayr, Chinchilla-Vega, Bubenik - Metz (83. Mayrleb), Aufhauser, Kogler (93. Kragl), Majabvi, E. Sulimani (80. Kaufmann) - Zickler SK Rapid: Hedl - Kayhan, Sonnleitner, Soma, Katzer - Hofmann, Heikkinen, Hinum (65. Saurer), Kavlak (74. Trimmel) - Nuhiu (51. Gartler), Salihi Yellow Cards: Zickler, Bubenik Nuhiu, Hofmann (gw)