06.05.2011 16:19

Rapid 1:2: RBS claim narrow win

Rapid took to the field in their now familiar 4-5-1 formation adopted and put to great effect by Zoran Barisic. Hamdi Salihi was again alone leading the line, with Steffen Hofmann playing in a very advanced position just off the Albanian. Mario Sonnleitner returned to the starting 11 following a short injury lay off. Full blooded encounterThe opening moments of the game saw both teams displaying total commitment to the cause: 50 – 50 tackles were being very fiercely contested in what was an absolute must win for both teams. Failure for either side to win would virtually end the respective clubs interest in the league championship, while a draw would also be of little use to either side. Aside from a lot of passion and full blooded endeavor, the opening 15 minutes brought little in the way of chances. Salzburg coach Ricardo Moniz deployed Sekagya as a man marker on Steffen Hofmann, a direct head to head between the clubs captains. A wayward Leitgeb effort in the 16th minute was as close as either side had come, the midfielder is not renowned for his goal scoring exploits and lived up to his reputation as he scuffed well wide from a good position. Drazan closeChristopher Drazan’s determination and power saw him muscle past Salzburg left back Hierländer on the half hour mark and unleash a rasping drive just over the bar. Red Bull Salzburg replied by creating their best opening just moments later as the ball was fed into Leitgeb who set up Alan with a cute back heel. The Salzburg forward’s tame effort was dealt with comfortably by Payer low at his right hand post. Tempers FlareMinutes before halftime tempers flared as Hofmann was booked for diving, the yellow card leading to a confrontation with Milan Dudic. The Salzburg defender appeared to strike Hofmann in the face but escaped with a yellow card from referee Schörgenhofer. Prokopic then found his way into the book for protesting a decision too vehemently. A bad tempered few minutes of injury time followed in an intense Hanappi atmosphere. The last few first half minutes certainly lit a fuse in the stands ahead of the second 45 minutes. Second HalfZoran Barisic would have been looking for an imptovement from his side in the second half, but it was the visitors who found the extra gear. A classy Zarate strike in the 66th minute proved to be the crucial breakthrough and capped a good spell of Salzburg play. It was a difficult pill to swallow for Barisic’ men who had come within the width of the crossbar just minutes earlier: a spectacular Salihi overhead smashed back off the bar via Salzburg keeper Tremmel’s fingertips. The Hütteldorf crowd rose to try and rally their heroes but the task became doubly difficult just 8 minutes later as Alan poked over the line from close range following more good work from Zarate. The goals seemed to sting Rapid into life and they suddenly took a grip off the game. Rapid were rewarded in the 84th minute for their best football of the afternoon when Atdhe Nuhiu rose highest to meet a cross and bury an unstoppable header past Tremmel in the Salzburg goal. A frenetic five minutes of renewed hope followed, but it wasn’t to be and time ran out on the Green-Whites. The result represents the probable end of Rapid’s title hopes and attention now shifts to Ried on Wednesday afternoon and the Cup semi final. 31. round:SK Rapid - RB Salzburg 1:2 (0:0)Hanappi-Stadion, 17.500, Referee SchörgenhoferGoals: 0:1 Zarate (66.), 0:2 Alan (74.), 1:2 Nuhiu (84.)SK Rapid: Payer - Kayhan (70./Schimpelsberger), Sonnleitner, Soma, Katzer - Pehlivan (79./Nuhiu), Kulovits - Prokopic, Hofmann, Drazan (76./Trimmel) - SalihiRB Salzburg: Tremmel - Hierländer, Dudic (50./Offenbacher), Afolabi, Ulmer - Sekagya - Zarate, Leitgeb (85./Teigl), Cziommer, Svento - Alan (89./Boghossian)Yellow Cards: Katzer, Hofmann, Prokopic, Kayhan bzw. Dudic, Cziommer, Hierländer, Tremmel, Offenbacher (gw)