Paint the city green: Rapid win second derby within four days!
It was with a couple of changes to the line-up that Rapid headed into the second Vienna derby within four days: Lucas Galvao and Giorgi Kvilitaia were absentees from Sunday's formation, both missing out through suspension, whilst injured duo Mario Pavelic and Manuel Thurnwald were also unavailable for selection. Max Hofmann returned to central defence, Tobias Knoflach was installed in goal, whilst there were also starts for Thanos Petsos and Veton Berisha.
One similarity to Sunday: of the 15,000 fans in the stands, the majority were donning the Green & White of Rapid. The opening phase of the match served up little in the way of goalmouth action: A blocked shot from Murg (9.), and an under-hit back pass that temporarily put Knoflach under pressure (17.) were the only dangerous moments of note at either end. But Austria were putting in a more committed and accomplished performance than on Sunday, and pushed the Hütteldorfers back as they sought the upper hand.
Around the half hour mark Rapid began to present themselves as an attacking force in the match, as a super low ball into the box from Stephan Auer just evaded Berisha (27.). Just a minute later, enterprising play from Petsos created an opening, but his final effort rolled just the wrong side of the upright (28.). An offside goal from Joelinton was then correctly disallowed (34.), but the signs were there that Rapid were edging closer to a breakthrough. But Joelinton's effort stung the hosts into life, as Westermann got on the end of a free kick into the area to power a header goal-wards, calling Knoflach into action. Knoflach brilliantly tipped the ball onto the frame of the goal, from where it fell kindly to Klein, who was denied by another brilliant stop from Knoflach (37.)! Whilst Austria were still ruing their luck, Rapid broke: a perfectly weighted pass from Schwab picked out Murg, who slotted the ball into the corner with a deft finish - 1:0 (42.)!
Rapid took their lead into the break, emerging for the second half unchanged. However, the Hüttledorfers seemed to have left their concentration behind in changing rooms as they almost immediately conceded a soft equaliser: A cross caught Rapid napping, and allowed Alhassan to stoop in and head home unchallenged - 1:1 (49.). Alhassan then passed up two presentable opportunities (54., 62.) as it looked as though the Violets might complete a turn around. Rapid were struggling to gain forward momentum and needed fresh impetus from the bench.
Louis Schaub came on for Joelinton, as Rapid looked to turn the tide. And they did just that with a moment of magic from Schobesberger: From roughly 30 feet from goal, Schobesberger bent a beautiful free-kick into the top corner - 2:1 and cue wild celebrations from the visiting fans in the stands (78.)! Austria kept coming at Rapid, searching for an equaliser, and they nearly found one when Monschein turned a cross onto the crossbar. At the other end of the pitch, Veton Berisha could've sealed the game for Rapid in injury time, but it didn't matter: The Green & Whites held on, and for the second time in four days defeated their bitter cross-city rivals, this time dumping them out of the cup! Rapid go marching on!
UNIQA ÖFB Cup, 3rd round:
FK Austria - SK Rapid 1:2 (0:1)
Ernst-Happel-Stadion, 14.652 Attendance, Ref Lechner
Goals: 0:1 Murg (41.), 1:1 Alhassan (51.), 1:2 Schobesberger (78.);
FK Austria: Penz - Klein, Serbest, Westermann, Salamon (89. Sarkaria) - Holzhauser - Prokop (87.Stark) , Alhassan, Lee (74. Tajouri), Pires - Monschein;
SK Rapid: Knoflach - Auer, Sonnleitner, M. Hofmann, Bolingoli - Petsos, Schwab - Ve. Berisha, Murg (82. Ljubicic), Schobesberger (91. Prosenik) - Joelinton (72. Schaub);