29.10.2016 18:56
tipico Bundesliga, Team

Narrow victory vs. Admira

Rapid made the short trip south on Saturday looking to arrest a four game win-less streak. Trainer Mike Büskens would have been hoping that his charges could develop a more ruthless streak in goal, with the Green & Whites unable to capitalise on promising build up play in previous outings. The Hütteldorfer starting eleven certainly had an attacking feel to it: Matej Jelic and Giorgi Kvilitaia comprised a strike duo, and would prove to be a very effecting pairing as the game against Admira developed.

The hosts had become somewhat of a bogey team for Rapid in previous years, with the side from the South City dumping their illustrious guests out of the Samsung ÖFB Cup last season as well as inflicting a painful 0:4 league defeat on then coach Zoki Barisic. The more recent tide had begun to turn however, with Rapid dishing out a 4:0 beating of their own last time the Lower Austrians visited the capital.

The Hütteldorfers looked to make a composed and measured - if unspectacular - start to the game, playing keep ball with a series of short passing in the first two thirds of the field. However this plan looked as if it would need revising in the early stages of the match, as the home side's pressing resulted in dangerous turnovers. One such incidence led to Knasmüller feeding Sax down the left wing, who pulled the ball back across the box. The cross fell to Monschein who pulled the trigger from a promising position only to be denied by a good piece of goalkeeping by Richard Strebinger (5.). The opening phase had belonged to Admira, but Rapid were slowly but surely feeling their way into the  proceedings and re-asserting themselves as a potent attacking force.

In recent weeks our side's inability to be clinical enough in front of goal had drawn criticism, but a combination of Schaub and Szanto went some to answering the critics' cries. A long ball towards the box was flicked on by Jelic and unintentionally redirected into the path of Louis Schaub by Admira's Ebner. Schaub calmly controlled the ball, jinked inside his marker and fired off a low left footed shot, which Admira keeper Leitner pushed onto the post. Fortunately Tamas Szanto was alive to the situation and pounced to sweep the rebound into the net - 1:0 Rapid (16.)!

The Hütteldorfers were now well in the ascendency and continued to probe and push for a second, which duly arrived via a piece of magic from Thomas Murg. Kvilitaia played an inch perfect pass into Murg, who gathered the ball in and faced up his defender without having to break stride. The Rapid man weaved in between two of the Admira rearguard before bending an unstoppable shot beyond Leitner and into the far corner - 2:0 (26.)! With Rapid two goals to the good, the game took a turn towards the nasty and the petulant, as emphasised by the trio of bookings meted out in the 33rd minute for Mocinic, Jelic, and Toth after a scuffle broke out between the two sides. The bookings served to take much of the sting out of the rest of the half, and a composed Rapid side ushered in half time with their two goal lead very much in tact and rarely threatened.


Mike Büskens opted for a change of formation during the pause as hr withdrew the now booked Matej Jelic. In his place came defensive midfielder Srdjan Grahovac, as Rapid added more steel to the spine of the team. If there was any complacency creeping into the Rapid players owing to the two goal cushion, it was soon punished by the hosts when just minutes after the restart Knassmüller drove into the box and shot. Max Hofmann managed to get something on the effort, but unfortunately it looped well beyond the reach of the diving Strebinger and landed in the back of the net – 1:2 (49.). Game back on.

The onslaught home fans were perhaps anticipating failed to materialise however, as a stern and organised Rapid defence stood firm. There was an unsavory moment for the Hütteldorfers – and particularly Mocinic – to suffer, as the combative midfielder was shown a second yellow card for diving in rashly on an opponent. Now all was in place for a grandstand finish, but the Green & Whites remained composed and continued to hold Admira at arms length.

The final whistle went after three minutes of injury time to confirm the end of Rapid's win-less streak. A solid defensive performance had been crowned by goals stemming from some superb individual attacking play in a performance that will go a long way to re-establishing the attacking belief and swagger so evident earlier in the season.



tipico Bundesliga, 13th round:
Admira Wacker - SK Rapid 1:2 (0:2)
Maria Enzersdorf, BSFZ-Arena, 5.032 Attendance, Ref Kolleger

Goals: 0:1 Szanto (16.), 0:2 Murg (29.), 1:2 Knasmüllner (49.);

Admira Wacker: Leitner - Zwierschitz, Lackner, Wostry, Pavic - Sax (84./Starkl), Ebner, Knasmüllner, Toth, Bajrami (62./Spiridonovic) - Monschein (75./Schmidt);

SK Rapid: Strebinger - Pavelic, Sonnleitner, M. Hofmann, Schrammel - Schaub, Murg, Mocinic, Szanto (61./Traustason) - Kvilitaia (69./Joelinton), Jelic (46./Grahovac);

Yellow Cards: Toth, Pavic bzw. Jelic, Grahovac;

Yellow-Red Card: Mocinic (76.);