Cup: Hütteldorfers stroll into quarter finals
Somewhat unbelievably our last victory in all competitions came in the ÖFB Samsung Cup - almost a month ago – against Leobendorf. On Wednesday evening it was the cup that was back on the agenda, as we made the short journey to Vienna Dornbach and the stadium of Wiener Sportklub. The ground was playing temporary home to our opponents Blue White Linz, the second side in Austria's third most populous city. After a string of recent setbacks, a convincing win against our lower division opponents was very much the goal as the team looked to get back on track and regain some confidence.
The 4500 strong crowd were treated to a professional display from the Hütteldorfers, in what proved to be a one sided contest. Mike Büskens was again forced into shuffling his pack, with Mario Sonnleitner partnering Max Hofmann at centre back, with the latter donning the captain's armband in the absence of the injured Stefan Schwab. There wasn't a great deal to do for either defender during a straight forward first half, which saw Rapid wrap up passage into the next round before half time. Giorgi Kvilitaia partnered Matej Jelic up front, and was the first player to threaten the Linz goal when he headed over in the opening stages (4.). After goalie Hankic had kept out a shot from Thomas Schrammel (7.), the Green & Whites went ahead: Kvilitaia found Schaub in the penalty area, who scored with a deflected shot - 1:0 (7.)!
A second goal arrived shortly after, when good play from Matej Jelic in the middle of the park worked the ball to Szanto, who in turn set up a simple chance for Thomas Murg, who slotted home a simple finish to double the dominant Hütteldorfers' advantage – 2:0 (22.). With Linz shell shocked and struggling to find any sort of response, Rapid looked to press home their superiority and kill the game off early. Louis Schaub narrowly missed with a header (30.), before Kvilitaia bagged his first goal for the club: after the Linz goalie had managed to keep out a shot from Szanto, the Georgian striker was on hand – as all good strikers should be – to mop up and sweep the ball into an unguarded net - 3:0 (33.). The chances continued to flow in the run up to half time, but BW Linz managed to avoid further damage to the scoreline, meaning Rapid took a comfortable three goal lead into the break.
The second period took on a similar tone to the first, with Rapid in no mood to become victims of a giant killing: Hankic managed to gather in an attempted chip from Kvilitaia, before his striking partner Matej Jelic got in on the act, drilling a low cross from Mario Pavelic into the roof of the net with a smart finish - 4:0 (58.)! With the game dead and buried our opponents did manage an attempt on goal, but Pellegrini could only find the side netting with his side's best chance of the evening.
With passage into the next round safely secured, the Rapid bench began to ring the changes: Max Wöber came on to make his first appearance of the year, whilst Philipp Malicsek was came on to make his Green & White debut. Also introduced as a substitute, Arnor Traustason tested the Linz keeper as the clock ran down (84.), but the game had long been over as a contest and Rapid took their place in the quarter finals! Despite the comfortable nature of the win, it was an important victory and a chance for the team to celebrate a success again following a difficult run of results – Rapid!
Blau Weiß Linz - SK Rapid 0:4 (0:3)
Sportclub-Platz, 4500 Attendance
Goals: 0:1 Schaub (7.), 0:2 Murg (22.), 0:3 Kvilitaia (33.), 0:4 Jelic (58.);
SK Rapid: Novota; Pavelic, Sonnleitner, M. Hofmann, Schrammel (63. Wöber); Mocinic; Schaub, Murg (70. Malicsek), Szanto; Kvilitaia, Jelic (77. Traustason);