02.10.2016 16:26
tipico Bundesliga, Team

Hütteldorfers come unstuck in Upper Austria

For the first time since sustaining an injury in July, veteran Steffen Hofmann returned to the Rapid starting eleven, naturally donning the captain's armband on his return to first team action. Showery weather in Upper Austria ensured heavy conditions underfoot in the Keine Sorgen Arena, where kick-off was delayed due to the copious amounts of smoke bellowing from the away section. Having missed the midweek defeat to Bilbao through illness, Thomas Murg returned to the line-up in place of Arnor Traustason, and, like his teammates, took to the field in the Red & Blue away kit after the referee team deemed the Hütteldorfers' Green & White strip too similar to the Green & Black of hosts SV Ried.

The game couldn't have gotten off to a worse start for the travelling Viennese, as in the 6th minute Matthias Honsak was completely lost by the Rapid defence, and promptly slotted the first shot of the match past Richard Strebinger to give Ried a shock 1:0 lead. The goal did little to stimulate a reaction from Mike Büskens' side, who remained second to every ball, and unconvincing at the back and in possession. Matters got worse for Rapid in the 23rd minute when Peter Zulj burst through brittle resistance and beat Strebinger from fully 20 meters, with the goalie failing to get a strong enough hand to the ball - 0:2. Then a worrying moment for Steffen Hofmann: without any contact from an opponent, the Rapid skipper fell to the floor in discomfort, and was eventually replaced on his 512th Bundesliga appearance by Tamas Szanto.

Just when it looked like Rapid might be about to go under, Stefan Schwab stepped up from 25 meters, striking a sweetly hit shot into the back of the net to halve the arrears - 1:2 (26.). Minutes later Joelinton could've levelled proceedings for the increasingly potent Green & Whites, but he failed to get above the ball from a cross and spurned a good headed opportunity. However, with Rapid feeling their way tentatively back in the match disaster struck five minutes from half time: from a corner Ried’s Thomas Reifeltshammer found space in the penalty area and beat Strebinger with a bullet header to ensure his side went into the break with their two goal advantage restored.


With his side on the ropes, Mike Büskens unsurprisingly sought to mix things up at the start of the second half, bringing Ivan Mocinic into the fray at the expense of Srdjan Grahovac. Both sides struggled to find their rhythm after the restart, and the opening minutes of the second period passed largely without incident. With Rapid huffing and puffing but failing to create clear cut chances, the hosts added a fourth, the manner of which summed up a desperately disappointing afternoon for Austria's record champions: A Ried counter attack culminated in ex-Rapid man Stefan Nutz's goal-wards header deflecting off Christopher Dibon and leaving Richard Strebinger powerless - 1:4 and the game as good as gone (65.).

The Hütteldorfers attempted to re-group and take some sting out of an unpalatable score-line, and to this end a second striker in the shape of Giorgi Kvilitaia as brought into the action. A free kick from Tamas Szanto nearly reduced arrears but went the wrong side of the post by a matter of inches (75.), whilst in stoppage time Stefan Schwab hit a rasping drive that crashed into the crossbar and went behind for a corner. From the resulting set piece Schwab himself headed home to grab a late consolation, but it was far too little too late from a Green &White perspective - a sentiment echoed by Mike Büskens: "Today’s performance wasn’t worthy of Rapid, we have to apologise to the fans!"



tipico Bundesliga, 10th round:
SV Ried - SK Rapid 4:2 (3:1)
Keine-Sorgen-Arena, 5.100 Attendance

Goals: 1:0 Honsak (6.), 2:0 Zulj (24.), 2:1 Schwab (26.), 3:1 Reifeltshammer (40.), 4:1 S. Nutz (65.), 4:2 Schwab (90.);

SK Rapid: Strebinger; Pavelic, Schösswendter, Dibon, Schrammel; Grahovac (46. Mocinic), Schwab; Schaub, S. Hofmann (22. Szanto), Murg; Joelinton (69. Kvilitaia);