09.05.2011 17:26
Team

Rapid bow out of Cup

While the Austrian FA Cup may lack the glamour of the German equivalent and the tradition of the English version, the Semi Final between SV Ried and our side represented a route into European football next season. Christoph Saurer came into the starting line up, while Salihi again led the line by himself. Despite the small capacity, the stadium was not sold out for the match even though the winners would be hot favourites going into the final against lower league outfit Austria Lustenau.The opening phase of the game failed to ignite: Ried were playing the prettier football but applying little our no pressure on Helge Payer’s goal. The first decent chance came the way of the hosts in the 14th minute as Payer was forced into action to keep out a Prettenthaler header. A Christopher Trimmel shot was the best the Hütteldorfers could muster to this point. With the homeside failing to engineer chances in front of their own fans, our Green-Whites began to show signs of life: A Christopher Trimmel header and a couple of decent Steffen Hofmann efforts followed in quick succession, with Markus Katzer also working the home Keeper. A glorious Hofmann effort nearly broke the deadlock for Rapid in the 35th minute: The mercurial Skipper's free kick from 25 yards crashed against the crossbar and rebounded away to safety as the home fans breathed a sigh of relief. The sense of redemption was short lived though, as just moments later Salihi's shot on the turn was too good for Keeper Gebauer. The pressure had paid off and the Hütteldorfers went into a deserved lead. Saurer almost doubled the lead five minutes before the break but he shot just wide after a maizy solo effort. The second half took on a different look: The Rapid dominance was gone and the hosts were looking to push forward and recapture the momentum. In contrast, Barisic' side looked content to protect the slender advantage. Ried passed up a golden opportunity in the 62nd minute and it was all hands to the pump for Rapid as they struggled to keep their opponents at bay. The creaking Rapid defence predictably succumbed to the intense pressure in the 72nd minute. All alone in the penalty area, Hammerer rose to meet a cross, got a good connection and his goal beat Payer to set up a potentially nail biting last 15 minutes. The decisive blow came in the 84th minute as a corner from Lexa beat all and sundry to somehow sneak in to make it 2:1 with time running out. It was a desperately unlucky way to fall behind and left Rapid shell shocked with little time to manufacture a repost. Zoran Barisic threw caution to the wind and sent on Atdhe Nuhiu and Christopher Drazan to try and pull the game from the fire. In the closing moments however it was the home side who nearly added to their tally after an error from Soma was lucky to go unpunished. It was the final opportunity of the match and the curtain came down on Rapid's hopes of silverware this season. Attention now switches to the league championship where Barisic troops must regroup and fight for the crucial UEFA Europa League spots on offer to the second and third placed sides. ÖFB-Samsung-Cup:SV Ried - Rapid 2:1 (0:1)Keine-Sorgen-Arena, 5.000, Referee EinwallerGoals: 0:1 Salihi (36.), 1:1 Hammerer (72.) , 2:1 Glasner (83.)SV Ried: Gebauer - Riegler, Glasner, Prettenthaler - Brenner (92. Zulj), Mader, Schrammel - Lexa, Ziegl (59. Carril), Royer - Guillem (59. Hammerer)SK Rapid: Payer - Kayhan, Sonnleitner, Soma, Katzer - Kulovits, Pehlivan (85. Drazan) - Trimmel, Hofmann, Saurer (85. Nuhiu) - SalihiYellow Cards: Gebauer Sonnleitner, Salihi, Soma, Hofmann (gw)