06.02.2016 20:53
Team, tipico Bundesliga

3:0 vs WAC: a perfect return to Bundesliga action

The much anticipated Bundesliga re-start finally rolled around on Saturday, with the Green & Whites playing host to the league’s bottom club Carinthian outfit Wolfsberger AC. A healthy 13,700 fans were in attendance and were treated to an entertaining match. A Rapid side deprived through injury and suspension of several key players struggled to find their rhythm in the first half, but there was plenty of action to keep the fans interested nonetheless. The first chance of the half went the way of the lively guests, whose performance largely belied their lowly league placing: Ouedraogo threatened Richard Strebinger's goal on the turn, but the WAC striker's low shot went the wrong side of the post from his team's point of view.

Rapid found an immediate answer when Stangl fed the ball into Matej Jelic from the by-line on the left hand side of the box, but Jelic scuffed his effort somewhat and saw the ball hit the outside of the far post and go behind for a goal kick (15.). Unlucky for the Hüttledorfers and for Jelic, who will be looking to build on his solid first months with club in the second half of the season. An attack minded Mario Pavelic threatened the WAC goal with a deflected effort (27.), before Strebinger took centre stage with a brilliant triple save: the young Rapid keeper, standing in for Jan Novota, made the first of his three saves when a low ball was cut back across the penalty area to Tschernegg, who side footed the ball goal-wards only to be denied by a superb stop from Strebinger who had scrambled across his goal to make the crucial intervention. The rebound fell back at the feet of Tschernegg, whose effort was once again kept out by Strebinger, before the young keeper again made an excellent stop owing to his superb positioning from Ouedraogo, after the WAC man had again pounced on a rebound – heroics from Strebinger and Rapid still level in the match (33.)!


Following this spate of goal mouth action in the Rapid penalty area, Zoran Barisic's side managed to stabilise themselves and began to put their stamp on the game. Although no concrete chances were fashioned by the Hüttledorfers in the remainder of the half, there was a feeling in the air that the Green & Whites and seen off their opponents best moments and were now coming into the ascendency.

The head of steam Rapid had built up towards the end of the first period came home to roost in the second during seven breathless minutes. The goal-glut began when a brilliant one-two between Stefan Nutz and Schobesberger resulted in Nutz - in central midfield for the suspended Steffen Hofmann - chipping a delightful ball over the top of the WAC defence, allowing speed merchant Schobesberger a clear run on goal. In typical fashion Schobesberger made no mistake, opening his body before calmly slotting the ball past WAC goalie Kofler and into the bottom right hand corner - 1:0 (56.)! The goal appeared to shatter the fragile confidence the WAC defence had displayed in the first half, and as Rapid ramped up the pressure and went in search of a quick fire second their opponents wilted and went under. Flo Kainz did well to win the ball in a dangerous position, before driving on and feeding the ball into Schobesberger on the edge of the area. Schobesberger, in turn, laid the ball off first time to Nutz, who again played the decisive pass, picking out the on-rushing Mario Pavelic; playing him into the corner of the WAC penalty area. Young full back Pavelic did the rest, slamming the ball home with authority, past the helpless Kofler at his near post - 2:0 and Rapid well on the way to claiming the three points (60.). Just two minutes later the guests from Carinthia were all but beaten as Jelic added a spectacular third for Barisic's side: Schobesberger was again involved, this time crossing invitingly into the penalty area from the right hand flank. Matej Jelic was waiting for the delivery on the edge of the six yard box, and with the ball coming in behind him he launched into an acrobatic overhead kick, caught it perfectly, and his shot flew straight past the beleaguered Kofler and into the net - 3:0 (62.)!! It was a dream goal for the Rapid marksman, with the power on it giving the WAC goalkeeper no chance whatsoever. Two assists for Nutz, a goal and assist for Schobesberger, a thunderbolt from Pavelic and a spectacular effort from Jelic had buried WAC in a stunning seven minute period.

The crowd rose to their feet in the 69th minute when new boy Thomas Murg came on for his Rapid debut in place of the effective Philipp Schobesberger. Spaniard Tomi also came off the bench to a good round of applause, and promptly had a couple of chances to get himself on the scoresheet: firstly he found the side netting when he'll feel he should've done better, before he came even closer with a header. There was also a great moment for Andi Kuen, who put all his injury woes behind him as he finally made his first competitive appearance in the famous Green & White. There were no further additions to the score and Rapid recorded a richly deserved and morale boosting victory. The win kicks off a hectic 'English week' in fine style: on Wednesday we host Admira in the ÖFB-Cup quarter finals, before making the short trip to Vienna's tenth district to take on Austria Vienna in the derby on the weekend. With a trip to Valencia also on the horizon in the Europa League, there is plenty for Rapid fans to look forward to as the crunch part of the season begins to come clearly into view.  



tipico Bundesliga, 21st round:
SK Rapid - WAC 3:0 (0:0)
Ernst-Happel-Stadion, 13.700 Attendance, Ref Hameter

Goals: 1:0 Schobesberger (56.), 2:0 Pavelic (60.), 3:0 Jelic (62.);

SK Rapid: Strebinger - Pavelic, Sonnleitner, M. Hofmann, Stangl - Petsos, Schwab - Schobesberger (69./Murg), Nutz (72./Tomi), F. Kainz - Jelic (82./Kuen);

WAC: A. Kofler - Standfest, Sollbauer, Rnic, Palla - Bingöl (66./Wernitznig), Hüttenbrenner, Tschernegg (81./M. Seidl), Jacobo - Silvio (66./Hellquist), Ouedraogo;

Yellow Cards: M. Hofmann; Bingöl, Hüttenbrenner, Rnic;