Points shared in Wolfsberg
Just three days after their UEFA Europa League heroics against Trencin, Bundesliga football was back on the agenda for Rapid in the shape of a trip to WAC. Trainer Mike Büskens elected to go with the same eleven who had performed so well on Thursday, with the only change being an enforced one with the injured Philipp Schobesberger replaced in the starting formation by Thomas Murg.
The early phase of the match was a keenly fought, even affair, with both teams largely cancelling each other out. It wasn't until the 23rd minute that either goal came under threat, when Mario Pavelic fired off a long range effort as the Hütteldorfers began to shade proceedings. Moments later Louis Schaub slipped in Joelinton with a slide rule pass, but WAC keeper Kofler quickly rushed off his line to get in a block and snuff out the danger.
On the half hour mark Rapid's increasing pressure resulted in a string of corners, one of which resulted in the opener: Thomas Murg swung a dangerous ball into the box, which was met perfectly by Christoph Schösswendter, who powered an unstoppable header past Kofler to put the Green & Whites a goal to the good - 1:0! It was the imposing defender's 14th goal in only 100 top flight appearances - an excellent return by any standards. Rapid continued to boss proceedings until half time, keeping the hosts at bay and not conceding a single shot on target. The half time whistle went with Schösswendter's goal separating the sides.
Hosts hit back in the second half
Neither manager felt the need to turn to the bench during the pause with both teams emerging for the second period unchanged. The first chance arrived when Louis Schaub guided a header comfortably over the bar after getting on the end of a Thomas Murg cross. Philip Hellquist then looked odds-on to drag his team level, but Jan Novota came to his side’s rescue when he denied the WAC man with a brilliant stop in a one-on-one situation (55.). Arnor Traustason came into the action at the expense of Murg, as the Rapid trainer team looked to arrest a pattern in the game that had seen the hosts slowly work their way into the match and begin to look the more likely. Louis Schaub then thought he had extended his team's advantage, only for Kofler to produce a save from the top drawer to keep WAC in the contest. Schösswendter was continuing to look dangerous from set pieces, as he again got on the end of a corner only for his effort to drift inches wide of the post. But with Wolfsberg looking increasingly dangerous the equalizer arrived via the boot of Rapid loan player Philipp Prosenik, who capitalised on some poor defending in the box to slam home from a matter of feet - 1:1.
The Green & Whites fought to retake the lead, and in the 87th minute it looked like the winner might arrive, but substitute Stephan Auer's attempted chip from close range was dealt with by the inform Kofler. The final whistle went and Rapid’s wait for a maximum point haul in the Levanthal Arena was extended by at least another match.
tipico Bundesliga, 5th round:
Wolfsberger AC - SK Rapid 1:1 (0:1)
Lavanttal-Arena, 5.872 Attendance
Goals: 0:1 Schösswendter (31.), 1:1 Prosenik (82.);
WAC: A. Kofler – Standfest, Sollbauer, Rnic, Klem – Zündel (59. Prosenik), Tschernegg, Hüttenbrenner (64. Offenbacher), Jacobo – G. Nutz, Hellquist (81. Topcagic);
SK Rapid: Novota - Pavelic, Schößwendter, Dibon, Schrammel - Grahovac, Mocinic - Schaub, Schwab (80. Auer), Murg (61. Traustason) - Joelinton;
Yellow Cards: Rnic, Offenbacher; Grahovac, Schösswendter, Joelinton;