24.09.2015 10:50
Profis, ÖFB-Samsung-Cup

Cup: Rapid squeeze through on penalties in Amstetten

Unsurprisingly there was a fair amount of rotation for the match against the Lower Austrian part timers. Richard Strebinger replaced Novota in goal, Michael Schimpelsberger and Stephan Auer came into the full back positions, whilst there was also starting berths for Stefan Nutz and Philipp Huspek. With senior pros such as Steffen Hofmann and Jan Novota not making the trip, it would be down to the squad members looking to stake a claim for a place in the first team to get the job done.

Sonnleitner departs action early

As the Rapid trainer bench would have hoped, the Green & Whites started the game on the front foot, and could have taken the lead in the first minute, but Matej Jelic lacked a little sharpness as he failed to capitalise on a mistake from the Amstetten goalkeeper in dealing with a Schimpelsberger cross (1.). Not long afterwards two match defining moments occurred within ten minutes of each other: firstly, Louis Schaub fed the ball into Flo Kainz, who slammed the ball into the Amstetten net with a no-nonsense finish - 1:0 (7.). However, if the travelling Rapid fans thought the goal could open the floodgates and see Amstetten swept aside, those thoughts were soon dispelled: the home side played a lofted ball forwards into the Rapid penalty area, where Mario Sonnleitner clashed with his opponent, receiving a red card for denying a clear scoring opportunity and simultaneously conceding a penalty (17.). Vukojevic converted in front of the travelling Viennese fans to make it 1:1 and bring back memories of last year’s epic struggle in the rain. As the half wore on and the game settled into a rhythm following Sonnleitner’s departure, it became clear Rapid were not going to be able to dominate with the same fluidity as they had done whilst enjoying parity of numbers.


Injury woe for 10 man Rapid

Neither side made any changes during the half time break, and the second period proved to be as much of a physical examination for the Hütteldorfers as the latter stages of the first had proved to be. In fact, the 10 men of Rapid struggled to contain their opponents as the regional league side went on the offensive: a shot from Plank went just over, whilst Strebinger had to be on hand to prevent Lachmayr scoring with a header (62.). Rapid urgently required stability, and Zoran Barisic reacted by bringing Stefan Schwab into the action at the expense of Huspek. Then the bench was forced into another change when Stefan Nutz collapsed to the floor in pain without any contact from an opponent: we will bring you an update on Stefan's situation as soon as we know more. The unlucky Nutz was replaced by Christopher Dibon.

Just after the onset of the Rapid Viertelstunde Matej Jelic had a superb chance to put the Green & Whites ahead, but he could only direct his header from a corner against the outside of the post (77.). There was more injury horror for Rapid not long after, as Louis Schaub had to be substituted after suffering a heavy tackle. Also with Louis we hope that the diagnosis will allay fears of a serious injury. At the death Rapid owed Richard Strebinger a debt of gratitude, as he parried a shot from Lachmayr onto the crossbar (88.).

Extra time and penalties

And so the game moved into extra time, where the heavy, energy sapping pitch continued to play a role. Deni Alar had an effort that went just wide (100.), before Amstetten man Holzer nearly turned a cross from Flo Kainz into his own net (114.). The second half of extra time passed largely without incident: the tie would be decided via a penalty shoot-out. In the penalties lottery Richard Strebinger emerged as the hero, saving the decisive penalty to see his side through into the next round. The whole club breathed a collective sigh of relief as Rapid scraped past a plucky and worthy opponent for the second time in two seasons.



ÖFB-Samsung-Cup, 2. round:
SKU Amstetten – SK Rapid 4:5 n.E. (1:1)
Wednesday, 23. September 2015
Goals: 0:1 Kainz (7.), 1:1 Vukojevic (18.);

Penalties: 0:1 Alar, 1:1 Fahrngruber, 1:2 M. Hofmann, 2:2 Plank, Kainz missed, Holzer missed, 2:3 Schwab, 3:3 Peham, 3:4 Dibon, Lachmayr missed.

SK Rapid: Strebinger; Schimpelsberger, M. Hofmann, Sonnleitner, Auer; Grahovac, Nutz (75. Dibon); Huspek (62. Schwab), Schaub (83. Alar), Kainz; Jelic;