2:0-win in Innsbruck makes it three in a week!
For the trip to Innsbruck the Rapid defence was built around and unlikely centre-back duo: With Max Hofmann suspended and Mario Sonnleitner dropping out of the squad owing to illness, Christopher Dibon was rushed back from his long injury lay-off to partner Mateo Barac at the heart of the back four. Aliou Badji was again given a starting role up front as the Hütteldorfers looked to make it three wins in a week that had already seen them reach the ÖFB Cup final.
The game sparked into life from kick-off and the Green & Whites looked in the mood: A corner from Thomas Murg was cleared at the near post in the first moment of danger for the Tyrol side (1.). In just the second minute Rapid should have taken the lead when Andrei Ivan brilliantly set up Christoph Knasmüllner for a tap in, but the forward somehow contrived to miss the open goal from just yards out (2.). Wacker then got in the act when Dedic shot wide from 10 meters (3.) in a breathless opening, before Badji should've done better on the turn, as he failed to get enough power on his shot just few meters from goal, allowing Innsbruck keeper Knett to save (4.). In a crazy opening phase it looked as if a goal must arrive, and so it proved: Following a goalmouth scrambled the ball fell at the feet of captain Stefan Schwab, whose shot rebounded off Knett to Dibon, who marked his comeback by slotting the ball into the net from the penalty spot - 1:0 (6.)! Thomas Murg nearly doubled Rapid's advantage with a rasping shot that grazed the top of the bar (20.), before Richard Strebinger did well to parry a long range shot from Dedic to safety (22.).
Shortly after the early onslaught Rapid were forced into an early change: Mateo Barac had been trying to run off an injury sustained early in the match, but finally succumbed in the 28th minute, with Marvin Potzmann coming on in his place. The final action of a half dominated by Rapid came via a Thomas Murg long shot.
The half-time break did little to change the flow of the game and the Hütteldorfers quickly reasserted their dominance: Marvin Potzmann popped up in space in the box but dragged his shot wide (54.), before a beautiful move involving three players carved open the Wacker defence and nearly added a second. Badji found Knasmüllner, who in turn played in Andrei Ivan with the Romanian taking his shot early, deftly flicking the ball past the Innsbruck keeper with the outside of his boot only for Maak to scramble and clear the ball off the line (62.)! This was a high-quality performance from Rapid - the only thing missing was a second goal to kill the off the game.
Philipp Schobesberger was sent on by Head Coach Didi Kühbauer as Rapid looked to turn the screw. The newly introduced winger had a shot blocked (76.), before Badji and Müldür also passed up half chances. Christoph Knasmüllner missed a second glorious chance of the afternoon, stabbing wide with the goal again gaping after being set up by the impactful Schobesberger with a ball that ran along the six-yard box (80.). Finally, the pressure told: Thomas Murg fed the ball through the Innsbruck defence to another substitute, Deni Alar, who slid a shot through Knett’s legs to finally kill off Wacker and make the game safe - 2:0 (88.)! The goal sealed a third win in a week for the Green & Whites, who will be looking to continue their run of form next week when SV Mattersburg are the visitors to Vienna. RAPID!!
tipico Bundesliga, 24th round:
Wacker Innsbruck - SK Rapid 0:2 (0:1)
Tivoli Stadion, 7.412, Ref Schörgenhofer
Goals: 0:1 Dibon (7.), 0:2 Alar (88.);
Wacker Innsbruck: Knett – Schimpelsberger (72. Kiprit), Peric, Maak, Klem – Henning (64. M. Harrer), Kerschbaum, Satin – Rakowitz, Dedic, Horvath (64. Durmus);
SK Rapid: Strebinger – Müldür, Dibon, Barac (28. Potzmann), Bolingoli – D. Ljubicic, Schwab – Murg, Knasmüllner, Ivan (68. Schobesberger) – Badji (84. Alar);
Yellow Cards: Kerschbaum; Ljubicic, Bolingoli