Never in doubt: A 5-0 home win kicks off our ÖFB Cup campaign
Our team took to the field on Sunday afternoon for the first competitive domestic match of the season, with 1,250 fans finally allowed to cheer on the side once again in our home ground. Head Coach Didi Kühbauer selected the same XI that had seen off Lok Zagreb in Champions League qualifying, but this time the opponents were TSV St. Johann/Pongau and the stage was Round 1 of the ÖFB Cup in Hütteldorf.
As expected, Rapid were the side controlling the tempo, with St. Johann deciding to sit deep in the opening stages of the game. Thomas Murg's cross reached Max Hofmann early on, with the resulting header well over the bar (11’). We led just moments later though, Ercan Kara contolling a high ball, before turning and threading a pass down the left for Taxi Fountas to poke into the far corner for 1-0 (12’)! Our small band of fans were grateful to be in attendance once again, and they had even more reason to cheer ten minutes after the opener. Hofmann’s long ball found Murg in the area, and he squared to teammate Kara who could tap in for 2-0 (22’)! It could have been three on the half-hour mark when Richard Strebinger played a direct kick down-field into the path of Fountas, who then served up a chance for Murg. His shot was parried well, but with Kelvin Arase hunting for the loose ball, he was fouled - penalty to Rapid! Fountas' spot kick was blazed over the bar, and although Arase had a further attempt from the edge of the area pushed to safety, the scoreline remained 2-0 at the break.
The second half began with a double substitution: Christoph Knasmüllner and Thorsten Schick replaced Dejan Petrovic and Filip Stojkovic respectively, and the two new players were involved in the first action of the half too! Knasmüllner's through ball played in Fountas once more, and he slotted into the far corner again to increase the lead to 3-0 (48’)! Seconds later Schick played in a perfect cross from the right towards the Greek striker, who stooped to head in for 4-0 and complete his hat-trick (51’)! Even with the result a foregone conclusion, the action kept coming; Kara's header was cleared off the line (56’) before Strebinger had his first real test, saving from a Hochleitner volley (59’).
Yusuf Demir came on to make his first cup appearance and went close to scoring the best goal of the day, seeing his 20-yard strike ricochet back off the crossbar (64'), before a Fountas shot was saved by the foot of goalkeeper Waltl (65’). Rapid began to take their foot of the gas after that, with St. Johann coming forward and hitting the side netting, but Demir borught the game to a close, and got his debut goal after all, shooting low past the keeper to make it 5-0 (89’)! Therefore, just like last week, we can say we're through to the next round!
Photos: GEPA Pictures.
UNIQA ÖFB-Cup, 1st round
SK Rapid - TSV St. Johann/Pongau 5:0 (2:0)
Sunday, 30th of September 2020
Allianz Stadion, 1.250 Attendance
Goals: 1:0 Fountas (12.), 2:0 Kara (22.), 3:0 Fountas (48.), 4:0 Fountas (50.), 5:0 Demir (89.);
SK Rapid: Strebinger; Stojkovic (46. Schick), Greiml (71. Sonnleitner), Hofmann, Ullmann; Petrovic (46. Knasmüllner), Ljubicic; Murg (58. Demir), Fountas, Arase; Kara (66. Kitagawa);