Only one point taken despite a dominant derby display
For the 331st Vienna Derby we were delighted to welcome back Marcel Ritzmaier and Kelvin Arase to the starting XI. Sunday's game in Hütteldorf was in fact the first meeting of the capital rivals in 2020, and although no fans were allowed to witness the action first hand we were determined to build on our midweek victory and give the spectators a first derby win at the Allianz Stadium to celebrate from the comfort of their own homes.
Once the whistle was blown we showed our attacking intentions immediately as lone striker Ercan Kara was set free by Christoph Knasmüllner before firing his shot across the Austria goal (3’), yet an early save was also needed to keep out a Jukic shot (4’) as the Vienna Derby came to life quickly. But after securing an early lead in our previous match, we did so again here: Max Ullmann swung in a cross from the left which was met first-time by Thorsten Schick, and he steered the volley expertly into the bottom corner to make it 1-0 (7’)! Despite continuing to push for more, Austria had a few forays forward of their own, and unfortunately one of them led to a leveller. Just before the 20 minute mark, a free-kick was lofted into the box for Wimmer to head in past Paul Gartler: 1-1 (19’).
Austria keeper Pentz then made a remarkable double save which was to be a recurring theme in the game; first he denied Knasmüllner's effort with a smart block, and then he parried the follow-up effort after the ball fell to Kara (23’) as we failed to re-take the lead quickly. Next Gartler had work of his own to do when an Austria corner was turned goalwards from close range by the chest of Palmer-Brown, but our stopper dived down to his near post to turn it away (23’).
After that scare, the chances began to mount for the boys in Green and White once again. Kara saw his back-post header fly across the face of goal (36’) before Mateo Barac received a stray shot in the box, only to have his own effort thwarted by some last-ditch defending (40’). Rapid continued to press with a remarkable series of corner ball after corner ball, and yet again there was somehow no way through, with Pentz throwing himself in the way of a close range shot hammered at the goal by Srdjan Grahovac (41’). It was 1-1 at the break, yet a fifth yellow of the season for Max Hofmann was a sour note in an otherwise very promising first 45 - He’ll miss next week's Bundesliga match against Hartberg.
In the second half the impetus and initiative remained firmly with Rapid. Kara adjusted his feet to hit a volley over the bar (49’), before Gartler had to keep out a low effort from Wimmer (50’) at the other end. Other than at that moment, the ball was almost always on its way into Austria's penalty area, and the action continued in that vein; Hofmann saw a powerful header well stopped by Pentz's reflex intervention (53’), and then Kara made himself a bit of room in the box but shot against the side-netting (59’). Arase made way for Taxi Fountas with around 20 minutes to play, but the next chance fell to starter Ritzmaier, who hit the target but couldn't beat the keeper from a central position (76’).
Yusuf Demir's introduction was the next roll of the dice from Didi Kühbauer, and with around eight minutes remaining he tried to spur the team on, driving forward with a dribble before firing against the outside of the post from 18 yards. Ercan Kara then had yet another shot smothered by Pentz (83’), headed a half-chance over the bar (86’) and at some point it became clear that it was just not to be our day in the derby. 35 shots, but only one point to show for it: A disappointing end result, but nonetheless a performance with a huge amount of positives to take. Next stop London, where we face Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League.
Fotos: GEPA Pictures.
tipico Bundesliga, 9th round:
SK Rapid - FK Austria 1:1 (1:1)
Allianz Stadion, Ref Weinberger
Goals: 1:0 Schick (7.), 1:1 Wimmer (19.);
SK Rapid: Gartler – Stojkovic, Hofmann, Barac, Ullmann – Grahovac, Ritzmaier – Schick, Knasmüllner (78./Demir), Arase (69./Fountas) – Kara;
FK Austria: Pentz – Teigl, Handl, Palmer-Brown, Suttner – Sarkaria (65./Fitz), Zwierschitz, Hahn, Jukic (84./Ebner) – Wimmer (55./Monschein), Pichler
Yellow Cards: Hofmann; Handl, Hahn, Zwierschitz, Teigl