Rapid take revenge with Derby win
The last thing coach Didi Kühbauer needed ahead of the 329th Vienna Derby was an extension to an already lengthy injury list, but in addition to being without Richard Strebinger, Mario Sonnleitner, Max Hofmann, Srdjan Grahovac and Thorsten Schick, the boss also had to make do without Dejan Ljubicic, who withdrew due to illness. Up stepped Dalibor Velimirovic from SK Rapid II, not only into the match day squad, but straight into the starting XI in a defensive midfield position. What an introduction!
After suffering a last minute defeat against LASK last week, a win on Sunday was vital, not just for the three points, but to inject some confidence into the camp, but as always with a derby on the other side of Vienna, a tough task lay in wait for the lads in Green and White. All the emotions of the Vienna Derby were laid bare in a frantic opening period, and before anyone had even caught their breath, we were in the lead. Stefan Schwab picked out a pinpoint through ball on the right to find Philipp Schobesberger, his low cross wasn't dealt with well by the Austria defence, and there was Thomas Murg to steer the loose ball into the roof of the net (7.) for a 1-0 lead!
Instead of seizing that momentum though, we handed it back to the hosts soon after, when a Mateo Barac backpass was intercepted by Monschein, who rounded Tobias Knoflach and slotted home the equaliser (10.). Monschein tested Knoflach from an angle later on, but our keeper was up to the task and saved well (20.).
The more concrete chances fell to our players though, and from a cross by Stephan Auer, a sliding Koya Kitagawa could only steer the ball towards the far post where Schobesberger fired over (34.). Auer crossed again moments later, and a header from Taxi Fountas found only the base of the post (36.), we were inches away from taking the lead! Despite a nervous moment when Max Sax was close to getting on the ball inside Knoflach’s 6-yard box, the momentum remained on our side, and Murg hit the side-netting (40.) with one of the final flourishes of the first half.
Just like the first 45, the second period began with plenty of Rapid pressure, and a goal! This time when Auer's pass came to Kitagawa in the area, he was able to tee up Fountas, whose deflected shot found the back of the net (53.) in front of the jubilant away supporters!
The game became an end-to-end affair, with Austria leaving more spaces open as they now needed to push forward. Knoflach acrobatically clawed away a Grünwald free kick (55.), before Murg's corner rattled the near post via the head of Handl. Our keeper was also in action again, making a crucial stop in a one-on-one situation against Monschein. It was Handl’s head again though, that brought Austria closest to restoring parity, his effort had Knoflach beaten, but Auer came to the rescue at the latest possible moment, clearing the ball off the goal line (73.).
Rapid started to exploit the spaces left by the hosts as the game wore on; Schobesberger shot narrowly wide at the end of a swift counter (76.) and the substitute Badji struck a shot close enough for Austria keeper Lucic to save (82.), but there was to be no late heartbreak this week. In a textbook breakaway move, the result was sealed when Badji had time to bring a bouncing ball under control, and hammer it into the net (94.) with the last kick of the game!
A 3-1 derby win for Rapid, and a measure of revenge for the match last December, which can be all but forgotten now. How nice it sounds to say it; Rapid have the bragging rights for the Vienna Derby once again!
tipico Bundesliga, 6th round:
FK Austria - SK Rapid 1:3 (1:1)
Generali-Arena, 14.615 Attendance, Ref Lechner
Goals: 0:1 Murg (7.), 1:1 Monschein (10.), 1:2 Fountas (50.), 1:3 Badji (94.);
FK Austria: Lucic – Handl, Jarjue (39./Prokop), Zwierschitz – Klein, Jeggo, Serbest (75./Edomwonyi), Cavlan – Sax (62./Turgeman), Monschein, A. Grünwald;
SK Rapid: Knoflach – Auer, Dibon, Barac, Ullmann – Murg (75./Knasmüllner), Velimirovic, Schwab, Schobesberger – Kitagawa (80./Badji), Fountas (69./Arase);
Yellow Cards: Jarjue, Prokop, Monschein; Ullmann, Fountas, Barac, Auer