Altach 0:0 Rapid: First half misses prove costly
Recent trips to the Vorarlberg countryside have failed to yield much in the way of positive results for Rapid, and on Saturday the Hütteldorfers were again forced to relinquish two points. The Green & Whites quickly imposed themselves on the game, and in the opening stages bossed SCR Altach and dictated the tempo. An early rocket from Galvao, facing his former employers, tested Altach keeper Kobras, who was forced into a flying save to acrobatically tip the Rapid defender's thunderbolt over the crossbar (7.). The hosts were struggling to create forward momentum, a theme throughout the afternoon for the Vorarlberg side, with the Rapid defence standing firm and giving their opponents little encouragement.
In the eighteenth minute, a foul on the edge of the Altach box by Zwischenbrugger presented Thomas Murg with a great opportunity to further examine Kobras. The Rapid forward stepped up, and from the right-hand side of the box curled a beautiful free-kick onto the crossbar. The ball rebounded into the middle of the six-yard box, where a stooping Kvilitaia got his header wrong with the goal gaping, inadvertently guiding it to the offside Max Hofmann, who stabbed home to the sight of a raised linesman's flag. Rapid manufactured another guilt-edged chance minutes later, this time for Brazilian striker Joelinton. After playing a smart one-two Kvilitaia, Joelinton received the ball back just 12 yards from goal, but under pressure from a defender and the on-rushing Kobras, he tamely guided his effort well wide of the target (21.).
It looked like Joelinton's chance would be the best opportunity of the half for Rapid, but in the 39th minute Philipp Schobesberber expertly chested down a ball into the path of Kvilitaia on the penalty spot. With only Kobras to beat, Kvilitaia produced and underwhelming effort, hitting a weak effort down the middle of the goal and into the Altach keeper's midriff. The miss rounded of a disappointing half in front of goal for Goran Djuricin's side; the Rapid Head Coach could hardly conceal his frustration at his team’s first half profligacy during the post-match interviews.
As the second period wore on, Rapid looked increasingly likely to rue those missed chances. Whilst the Hütteldorfers continued to enjoy the lion’s share of the ball, clear sights of goal were proving hard to come by as Rapid's passing game failed to click. Good use of the body from Boli Bolingoli denied Altach's Aigner an opportunity in a dangerous looking position (53.); whilst at the other end the best Rapid could produce was a blocked shot from Kvilitaia after a smart pass from Joelinton (62.).
But the more time ticked away, the clearer it became that the match was fizzling out into a draw. There were few efforts of note from either side in the closing half an hour of the contest, and when the final whistle did finally go there would have been few members of the crowd shocked at the deadlock still being intact. It finished 0:0, and the wait continues for the Hütteldorfers to claim a maximum points haul on Altach soil.
tipico Bundesliga, 26th round:
Altach - SK Rapid 0:0
Altach, Cashpoint-Arena, 5.193 Attendance, Ref Heiß
Altach: Kobras - Lienhart, Zech, Netzer, Schreiner - Oum Gouet, Zwischenbrugger (61./S. Nutz) - Gebauer, Ngwat-Mahop, Otubanjo (69./Grbic) - Aigner (83./Honsak);
SK Rapid: Strebinger - Auer, M. Hofmann, Galvao, Bolingoli - Petsos, Szanto - Murg (79./Ve. Berisha), Joelinton, Schobesberger (66./Schaub) - Kvilitaia (72./Mujakic);
Yellow Cards: Zwischenbrugger, Zech, Schreiner; M. Hofmann, Joelinton