18.02.2019

Seven goals and three penalties: Penty of action in final friendly

With the sun on their backs, 300 Rapid fans travelled to the Ernst Happel Stadium to watch the Green & Whites take on Slovenian side Triglav Kranj in pleasant spring weather. Those in attendance saw their side ramp up the intensity levels for the final friendly of the close-season preparations, and a match that yielded no less than seven goals plus three penalties, all for the Hütteldorfers.

The tone for the game was set by a Rapid side that bossed the early exchanges: Andrei Ivan played a one-two with Veton Berisha before finding Christoph Knasmüllner, whose attempted low cross was hacked to safety inside the six-yard box (6.). The next action saw the Rapid striker felled by an overexuberant Kranj keeper, with skipper Stefan Schwab slotting home the resulting spot-kick - 1:0 (11.). The guests hit back: a header went just wide of the far post (22.), before Richard Strebinger saved from Udovic. The Slovenes weren't to be held at bay much longer though, and with their next attack Majcen equlaised with a low finish - 1:1 (27.). Knasmüllner came closest to restoring Rapid's lead before half time, but shot wide after being picked out by Ivan (34.). Shortly before the break the unfortunate Manuel Thurnwald was forced from the field with an injury. Marvin Potzmann came on in his place.

Didi Kühbauer made a clutch of changes at half-time, and after the restart the Green & Whites quickly forged back ahead: Ivan found Thomas Murg, who picked his spot and beat visiting keeper Arko with a low drive - 2:1 (51.). Just three minutes later Boli Bolingoli was chopped down in the box to earn another penalty, this time Knasmüllner beat Arko at the second time of asking after the keeper had gotten a hand to his initial shot - 3:1 (55.). The plucky guests pulled one back though via a header from Kumar - 3:2 (57.). But Rapid always held the upper hand and went close to adding a fourth through firstly Murg (66.) then Dejan Ljubicic (70.).

It was shortly before the Rapid Viertelstunde that the Hütteldorfers made the game safe: Substitute Philipp Schobesberger picked out Mario Sonnleitner with a delightful cross, the centre back heading Rapid into a two-goal lead - 4:2 (72.). The scoring was rounded off as the game headed for injury time, when a pin-point through ball from Manual Martic found Andrija Pavlovic, only for the Serb to be brought down, earning Rapid a third penalty. Pavlovic took the kick himself, scoring the fifth of the afternoon for Rapid - 5:2 (89.).

The match provided a good work out before the serious business of competitive football returns in the shape of a mouth-watering clash with Italian giants Inter Milan in the Europa League! Rapid!

Friendly:
SK Rapid - NK Triglav Kranj 5:2 (1:1)
Ernst Happel Stadiun, 300 Attendance

Goals: 1:0 Schwab (10./pen), 1:1 Majcan (26.), 2:1 Murg (50.), 3:1 Knasmüllner (55./pen), 3:2 Kumer (56.), 4:2 Sonnleitner (72.), Pavlovic (90./pen);

SK Rapid: Strebinger; Müldür (46. Murg), Dibon, Hofmann (70. Sonnleitner), Bolingoli (74. Auer); Grahovac (46. Martic), Schwab (46. Ljubicic); Thurnwald (40. Potzmann), Knasmüllner (70. Schobesberger), Ivan (77. Alar); Berisha (63. Pavlovic)

(gw)