Having returned to training a week ago, Saturday's friendly against Neusiedl/See (Regional league) represented a step up in winter preparations. About 250 Rapid fans braved the freezing conditions and made their way down to the training pitch at the Ernst-Happel-Stadium to get a glimpse of the first live action of 2016.
The hardy band of Green & White fans were rewarded with an ensuing goal feast, in which the Hütteldorfers started brightly and threatened through Steffen Hofmann (9., over the bar from an Auer cross) and Steffen Nutz, the latter working the visiting goal keeper in the 11th minute. The deadlock was eventually broken by Matej Jelic, who scored with a low finish after being played through on goal (19.), before Philipp Schobesberger doubled Rapid's advantage, rounding the opposition goalie before slotting into the net (29.). Jelic picked up his second of the afternoon just two minutes later, heading home as Schobesberger turned provider (31.); before bagging his hat-trick before half time to round of a solid forty-five minute work-out for Zoran Barisic's side (40.).
Virtually every player was changed at half time but those fresh to the action didn’t take long to add to the score line, as Stefan Schwab burst into the penalty area before finishing to make it 5:0 (47.). Schwab was again celebrating scoring just minutes later, after a crisp one-two played him in on the hapless Neusiedl keeper (57.). Deni Alar stepped up to score from the spot to make it 6:0 in the 59th minute after a survivor from the first half, Philipp Schobesberger, had been fouled in the box. Rapid then added a third goal in the space of 6 minutes when Philipp Prosenik got himself on the score sheet after being played in by Tomi to make it 8:0 (61.). It took until the final minutes of the game before the Hüttledorfers rounded off the scoring when Schobesberger picked up a final reward for his afternoon’s efforts as his free kick evaded the beleaguered SC Neusiedl/See goalie to creep over the line – 9:0 (88.).
Trainer Zoran Barisic: "It was our first test and we fulfilled our aims. I was happier with the second half as we were better going forwards and at implementing our passing game."
Link: Overview of fixtures.