30.08.2015 08:24

Defeat for 10 man Rapid before international break

Stephan Auer did his best, but Rapid lost.

As expected Zoran Barisic's starting line-up showed a couple of changes to the team that had acquitted themselves so well in Donetsk: Richard Strebinger came back into the starting eleven, as did Deni Alar. There may well have been weariness in the legs after Wednesday’s exploits, but in front of 14,300 fans, Rapid were looking to round off an impressive opening to the campaign with another victory ahead of the international break.

Mountain to climb from the off

However no sooner had the game got underway were the Green & Whites facing an uphill battle: keeper Strebinger totally misjudged a ball which was seized upon by Röcher, who burst past our goalie only to be brought down outside the area by a desperate challenge. It was Strebinger's last involvement of the afternoon as he saw red for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity (4.). Tobias Knoflach came off the bench to make his debut in goal, replacing the unfortunate Louis Schaub. With a man deficit the Hütteldorfers found it difficult to get into the game. By contrast, Mattersburg were enjoying the increased space and looked dangerous: Malic headed narrowly over (20.), Prietl should have done better with a good chance (21.) before he was minutes later denied by a smart save from Knoflach (22.), whilst Onisiwo also spurned a chance as the Burgenland outfit turned the screw. Rapid's first positive moment in an attacking sense arrived on the half hour mark, as Kainz tried to capitalise on an error from SVM keeper Kuster, who had got his angles wrong, but pulled the ball beyond the far post (29.).
Further sights of goal fell to Alar and Schobesberger, but just as it looked like Rapid were finding their feet Mattersburg made the breakthrough: shortly before the break Perlak popped up in the danger zone, and scored with what one must admit was a delightful chipped effort over Knoflach - 0:1 (40.).

Mattersburg deserved to win. The early dismissal didn’t strengthen our hand. We were not physically or mentally 100% ahead of the game today. We made simple mistakes and brought problems on ourselves. We didn’t perform as a team today.
Coach Zoran Barisic.

Deni Alar scored, but it was not enough.

Alar hits back

However, just after the break hope was once again restored as Rapid found the perfect response: Deni Alar bundled his way through the penalty area, before skilfully turning inside his marker and firing home - 1:1 and the game was apparently once more there for the taking (52.). But just minutes later Mattersburg landed a double blow that all but killed off the game: firstly Röcher scored, his shot cannoning off both posts and into the back of the net to make it 1:2 (60.), before Onisiwo picked out the unmarked Pink in the penalty area who made no mistake - 1:3 (63.). The Rapid defence then breathed a sigh of relief as Mattersburg hit the woodwork, but it wasn’t to be long until Knoflach was again picking the ball out of the net: Mahrer scored the fourth after being picked out by a precise pass – 1:4 (70.). Steffen Hofmann's repost, a half volley into the far corner (81.), served only to improve our goal difference as a Rapid come back was never on the cards. It was a shame to lose going into the international break, but the slip up represents nothing more than a little black mark on what has so far been an excellent start to 2015/2016.

tipico Bundesliga, Match Day 7
SK Rapid - Mattersburg 2:4 (0:1)
Ernst-Happel-Stadium, 14.300, Ref Drachta;

Goals: 0:1 Perlak (39.), 1:1 Alar (51.), 1:2 Röcher (60.), 1:3 Pink (62.), 1:4 Mahrer (78.), 2:4 S. Hofmann (81.);

SK Rapid: Strebinger - Pavelic, Sonnleitner, Dibon, Auer - Petsos, Schwab (67./S. Hofmann) - Schobesberger, Schaub (6./Knoflach), F. Kainz (67./Prosenik) - Alar;

SV Mattersburg: Kuster - Höller, Malic, Mahrer, Farkas - Jano - Röcher (73./Grgic), Prietl, Perlak (85./Sprangler), Onisiwo - Pink (75./Templ)

Red Card: Strebinger (5./Denying a clear goal scoring opportunity)