Rapid sign off for winter with a win!
The final match of the year, and rather than taking place in Hütteldorf, this one was a little way down the road in the Südstadt. For the second of this week's away games we faced Admira with a desire to return to winning ways after recent league and cup losses, and to bow out for the winter break on a high. To help make that happen, Dejan Petrovic returned in a defensive midfield position, and with Srdjan Grahovac out injured, Lion Schuster took up a starting berth alongside. Our coaching team also had to make do without Kelvin Arase who is recovering from illness, and the suspended Filip Stojkovic.
So on to the game, with an away win in full focus: Thorsten Schick began with a nice move on the wing, cutting back and finding himself in the area, only to see his placed shot come back off the upright (9’). Rapid were controlling the play, dominating possession and leaving no space for Admira to exploit. We pushed forward once more with good link-up passing before Schuster crossed deep into the box where Ercan Kara met the ball awkwardly. The ball stayed in the danger zone though, dropping onto the crossbar above goalkeeper Leitner and rebounding into the action (16’). Our forward momentum eventually paid off when a measured ball in from Taxi Fountas once more found Kara by the six-yard box, and on this occasion he was able to head home with no trouble for 1-0 (20’)!
We could even have built on our deserved lead before the break; a deflected shot from Christoph Knasmüllner went close (27’) and we were always looking more likely to grab a second than Admira were to equalising. With little danger to ward off, we went in at the break with our solitary goal separating the sides on the score board.
The action at the beginning of the second half was rather more evenly matched, with Admira forced to go forward. Rapid held firm though, remained in control and continued to leave little room for the hosts. Concrete chances didn’t appear until around the hour mark, when Kara took aim from the edge of the box and Leitner parried the ball into the path of Fountas. His low shot came back through and tested Leitner again, but stayed out (62’). From the resulting corner Fountas had another go but dragged his effort off target, before Marcel Ritzmaier did the same on a promising counter attack (66’). The game was still alive all the while, but we could have sealed things by now.
Before the Rapid quarter-hour things got a bit more challenging; goal scorer Kara had to go off injured after a foul, and in came Koya Kitagawa. Thankfully Kara was able to leave the field under his own volition. With few chances falling for either side in the latter stages, our whole side were also able to leave the field as victors, claiming a much needed three points to sign off for 2020 on a positive note. That means that once more we’ve left ourselves in a promising position in the Bundesliga table for the restart next Spring. RAPID!
Photos: GEPA Pictures.
Didi Kühbauer after the game
Bundesliga, 12th round:
FC Admira - SK Rapid 0:1 (0:1)
BSFZ Arena, Ref Schüttengruber
Goal: 0:1 Kara (20.);
FC Admira: Leitner – Maier, Aiwu, Rath, Auer – Tomic (67./Kronberger) – Starkl (46./Hausjell), Kerschbaum, Hjulmand (89./Malicsek), Hoffer – Breunig
SK Rapid: Gartler – Schick, Hofmann, Barac, Ullmann – Schuster, Petrovic – Fountas (86./Greiml), Knasmüllner (61./Demir), Ritzmaier – Kara (75./Kitagawa)
Yellow Cards: Hjulmand, Kerschbaum, Aiwu, Maier; Fountas, Schuster