Dominant Rapid ease to victory at Admira
Almost two years had passed since Rapid's last win on Admira soil. Back in 2016 goals from Tamas Szanto and Thomas Murg secured an all too rare victory in the South City. And as we kicked off the new 12-team Bundesliga season, Thomas Murg would again have a crucial role to play in getting the Green & Whites off to the perfect start: A neat one-two with Christoph Knasmüllner played Murg into the box, where the Austrian international produced a cool finishing, slotting the ball into the corner of the net - 1:0 (6.)! The early goal for the Hütteldorfers took the wind out of the hosts' sails; hosts who were visibly rocked by the goal. Rapid, by contrast, looked hungry and keen to pick where they left off against Kufstein in the ÖFB Cup.
Trainer Goran Djuricin hadn't shied away from picking new signings in the his starting eleven: Marvin Potzmann and Mateo Barac formed half of the back four; with ex-Admira man Knasmüllner starting in attack alongside fellow new boy Andrei Ivan and the returning Deni Alar. With Admira still struggling to get a foothold in the game they were punished for their lethargy by a clinical Rapid: Boli Bolingoli picked out Knasmüllner, who found Andrei Ivan in the penalty area. The Romanian forced the ball past Admira goalie Leitner, bagging his third goal in only his second competitive appearance - 2:0 (23.)! Ivan promptly almost added a third, as he drew a smart save out of Leitner with a sharp effort (31.).
Rapid kept pushing in search of more openings, as Admira dropped deeper into their own half in an attempt to remain in the match until half time. But a ruthless Green & White eleven gave them no respite and added a third on the stroke of the interval: the energetic Bolingoli was on hand to capitalise on a mistake from Aiwu in the Mödling defence, slotting the ball into the corner of the net to put Rapid out of sight before the break - 3:0 (44.)! The Hütteldorfers were putting on a show in front of the 5200 strong crowd, many of whom had made the short trip from Vienna.
The Rapid trainer team opted against making any half time changes, and would've been delighted as straight after the resumption of play their side again began bossing the match. A vicious drive from Knasmüllner arrowed narrowly over the crossbar as things threatened to get embarrassing for Admira. At the other end of the pitch, hitherto untested goalie Richard Strebinger maintained concentration as he cleared before the onrushing Bakis (56.), before repelling a long-range shot from the same player (59.). Substitute Veton Berisha, on for Knasmüllner, passed up a golden opportunity to make four for Rapid, when he latched onto another stray Admira pass but couldn’t beat Leitner when through one on one.
Aleksandar Kostic and Philipp Malicsek came on to add fresh impetus in the closing stages, but with time running down and Rapid comfortably in the lead, the Hütteldorfers took their foot off the gas a little as the victory rolled into view. Boli Bolingoli had the final effort of note, testing Leitner from the edge of the Admira penalty area (88.).
In the end Rapid ran out clear 3:0 victors, with the margin of victory a fair reflection of the Green & Whites' dominance. It was the perfect start to the new format Bundesliga, and despite the season only being one match day, it is always nice to see the name Rapid at the top of the pile! On Thursday we’ll learn who our opponents are in the Europa League third round qualifiers, and on Saturday we welcome SCR Altach to Hütteldorf for our first home league match of the season. Rapid!!
tipico Bundesliga, 1st round:
FC Admira - SK Rapid 0:3 (0:3)
BSFZ-Arena, 5.200 Attendance, Ref Harkam
Goals: 0:1 Murg (6.), 0:2 Ivan (23.), 0:3 Bolingoli (44.);
FC Admira: Leitner - Zwierschitz, Aiwu, Scherzer (46./Bakis), Spasic - Vorsager, Toth (78./Hjulmand) - Sahanek (61./Jakolis), Maier, Starkl - Schmidt;
SK Rapid: Strebinger - Potzmann, Hofmann, Barac, Bolingoli - Ljubicic (79./Malicsek), Schwab - Murg, Knasmüllner (67./Berisha), Ivan (76./Kostic) - Alar;
Yellow Cards: Zwierschitz, Bakis; Potzmann, Kostic;