Rapid made to suffer by Salzburg
In theory, a win in the week's big clash against RB Salzburg would have kept Rapid nice and close to the top of the table. In reality, dreams of hanging on didn't last until half-time on Wednesday night. We set out to go for the win, with Ercan Kara and Koya Kitagawa making a two-pronged attack; Leo Greiml came back into the defence, and Dalibor Velimirovic got his first start of the Championship Round in a defensive midfield role.
Our boys went at it from the start, chasing a victory which was always going to be a big ask. Srdjan Grahovac and Kara linked up well, the latter playing a through pass to Kitagawa who rounded keeper Stankovic but found the angle too tight to hit anything more than side-netting (9’). Stefan Schwab then lofted a delightful pass over the defence for the Japanese striker to control well, before being denied just before getting a shot off (14’). Kara forced a good save from the resulting corner, but Rapid didn't have to wait long until their bright start paid off. Mwepu found himself out of position on a high ball and slipped, allowing Kara to run through. He didn't waste his chance, curling precisely in off the post for 1-0 (20’).
Sadly, the joy was short lived, Tobias Knoflach in goal fended off a close range shot but despite Daka following up from an offside position, play continued and Okafor scored on the rebound (22’). The quick response gave Salzburg a sudden momentum, and they took advantage ruthlessly. Daka flicked on a high ball to Mwepu who slotted in for 2-1 (30’), Szoboszlai then chested down a ball in the box before volleying into the corner for 3-1 to Salzburg (39’), and after Knoflach saved a long shot from the Hungarian, Vallci nodded in the resulting corner (44’) for a devastating 4-1 deficit at the break.
With the game all but over already, Taxi Fountas, Thorsten Schick and Dejan Petrovic were brought on for the second half, but the Salzburg storm hadn't yet passed. Knoflach saved from Junuzovic's angled shot, but once more the following corner was right on the money, and made its way in via Kara and Ramalho for 5-1 (60’). Yusuf Demir was introduced, but still Salzburg pushed us back. A training ground corner routine sailed long towards a distant and unmarked Junuzovic, who arrowed his volley in off the underside of the bar for a painful - yet frankly unbelievable - sixth (66’). Fountas tried to add a consolation but his long range effort was parried (77’), before Hwang scored another for the away side, converting a penalty at the second attempt (79’). In injury time, Fountas did at least restore some small measure of pride by taking advantage of some poor defending to get on the score sheet (90’).
After a bruising evening, Rapid end the day down in third in the table. The good thing about these double match-weeks is that we get the chance to go again and put this one behind us with some points away against Sturm Graz on Sunday (28th June, kick-off: 19:30).
Photos: GEPA Pictures.
Relive und Zusammenfassung:
Spielzusammenfassung im Video
Relive: Das komplette Spiel zum Nachsehen (ohne Kommentator)
Relive HZ1: Das erste Hälfte zum Nachsehen inkl. Sky Sport Austria-Kommentatorenteam
Relive HZ2: Das zweite Spielhälfte zum Nachsehen inkl. Sky Sport Austria-Kommentatorenteam
Stimmen und Pressekonferenz:
Pressekonferenz nach dem Spiel mit beiden Trainern
Torgalerie: Rapid-Tore zum Nachsehen:
Bundesliga, 29th round:
SK Rapid - RB Salzburg 2:7 (1:4)
Allianz Stadion, Ref Schüttengruber
Goals: 1:0 Kara (19.), 1:1 Okafor (22.), 1:2 Mwepu (30.), 1:3 Szoboszlai (39.), 1:4 Vallci (39.), 1:5 Own Goal (60.), 1:6 Junuzovic (65.), 1:7 Hwang (79./Penalty), 2:7 Fountas (90.+2);
SK Rapid: Knoflach – Stojkovic, Ljubicic, Greiml – Auer, Velimirovic (46. Schick), Grahovac, Ullmann (62. Demir) – Schwab (46. Fountas) – Kara, Kitagawa (46. Petrovic);
RB Salzburg: Stankovic – Vallci, Ramalho (69. Adeyemi), Wöber (46. Onguene), Ulmer (63. Farkas) – Mwepu, Camara, Junuzovic, Szoboszlai (69. Okugawa) – Daka (63. Hwang), Okafor;
Yellow Cards: Stojkovic, Fountas, Kara, Schick; Vallci, Ramalho