Rapid fall to defeat in the final home game of 2020
After elimination from the UEFA Europa League on Thursaday, we were looking to put the disappointment behind us on our return to Bundesliga action. The final home game of the year was against WSG, and we began against the Tyroleans with a youthful midfield, Lion Schuster started alongside Melih Ibrahimoglu and Yusuf Demir. Max Hofmann was still missing, with veteran Mario Sonnleitner starting in central defence next to Leo Greiml. The task at hand was clear; three points was what we were looking for in order to remain in the mix at the very top of the table over Christmas.
With the very first attack of the game, the visitors had the ball in the back of the net following a corner kick. The ball was played short, then passed into the area for Schnegg who fired in from the left of the six-yard box (5’). The early setback was not only a problem, but also a test of this young team's mettle, with almost the whole 90 minutes still ahead. Despite our efforts, WSG had the next shot, with Yeboah launching an effort over the bar (18’). A cross from ex-Rapid man Petsos dipped dangerously towards the goal, but Paul Gartler was able to turn it over the bar (29’). From the next move, our deficit doubled, as Petsos was free to take aim from outside the area, and his shot squeezed into the corner of the goal for 0-2 (30’). Our best chance to get one back before the break fell to Taxi Fountas, who shot from a good position in the area on the break, but hit only WSG keeper Oswald (39’). We’d need a reaction if we were to take anything from the second half.
Our coaching team opted for a triple substitution, with Mateo Barac (for Mario Sonnleitner), Kelvin Arase (for Yusuf Demir) and Ercan Kara (for Melih Ibrahimoglu) coming on directly after the break. However, our next setback came right after the restart: Filip Stojkovic was stopped by a foul as he ventured forward, but as his arm came around he caught the opponent and saw red. Rapid were reduced to 10 men, and almost fell to 0-3 as well, as the next WSG attack saw the ball bounce off the bar following Koch's shot (52’). Two minutes later the guests hit the woodwork once more, Rieder firing against the post on the counter. It was an extremely tough phase of the game for us to say the least.
We went for a response, Kara volleyed from a high cross but fired over from close range (57’). After an hour, Srdjan Grahovac made an appearance from the bench, chalking up his 100th Bundesliga game in Green and White. Once more came WSG though, and once more it was Koch, but his shot from range was parried by Gartler (63’). He had to be active again soon after to deny Yeboah, and as the minutes ticked by and the game became punctuated by fouls and yellow cards, chances became few and far between, with Rapid looking to push on but needing to stay alert to the counter.
Gartler reacted well to save a Frederiksen effort with his foot (88’), however against the next well-placed shot into the top corner he had no chance (90’). In the end it was a deserved win for WSG which unfortunately knocks us back at the top of the table. On Wednesday we have to gather ourselves again for a huge cup game against Salzburg.
Photos: GEPA Pictures.
Press conference after the game
Bundesliga, 11th round:
SK Rapid - WSG Tirol 0:3 (0:2)
Allianz Stadion, Ref Hameter
Goals: 0:1 Schnegg (5.), 0:2 Petsos (29.), 0:3 Frederiksen (90.);
SK Rapid: Gartler – Stojkovic, Sonnleitner (46./Barac), Greiml, Ullmann – Schuster, Ritzmaier (63./Grahovac) – Schick, Demir (46./Kara), Ibrahimoglu (46./Arase)- Fountas;
WSG Tirol: Oswald – Koch, Behounek, Gugganig (76./Hager), Schnegg (85./Frederiksen) – Rogelj, Petsos (55./Smith), Celic, Rieder (55./Naschberger) – Dedic (85./Anselm), Yeboah
Yellow Cards: Ibrahimoglu, Schuster, Schick; Petsos, Rieder, Smith, Gugganig, Yeboah
Red Card: Stojkovic (49.);