ADMIRAL Bundesliga Matchday 24 Reviews

2. April 2024 in Englisch

Qualification Group

FK Austria Wien 0-0 FC Blau Weiss Linz

The fourth Friday game of the Bundesliga season ended in the fourth draw, as Blau Weiss Linz failed to find a way past the 10-men of Austria Wien. The early stages saw Blau Weiss top scorer Ronivaldo instinctively read a rushed back-pass from Lucas Galvao before chipping a glorious chance wide of the target for the guests. The home side responded with Frans Krätzig skilfully dribbling through the defence before also shooting wide. Austria were then rocked by the dismissal of starting debutant Moritz Wels, who picked up two quick bookings to earn an early bath after just 16 minutes.

Conor Noß missed the best chance for the guests before the interval as he fired only against a teammate having carried the ball all the way into the box, but after the break the Violets certainly played their part. Ultimately Krätzig could only fire wide from a tight angle, matching what Paul Mensah managed at the other end; Mensah also sliced an effort well wide, meaning that Blau Weiss Linz have recorded successive stalemates in the Qualification Group, having seen just two of them in the whole of the regular season. Austria have also now drawn their first two group games, but they remain in the lead.

RZ Pellets WAC 0-0 CASHPOINT Altach

Wolfsberg and Altach drew 0-0 for the seventh time on Saturday, in a game which was delayed 15 minutes by a problem with the visiting team’s bus. The journey may not have gone well for the guests, but on the field they had a brilliant early chance, as Gustavo Santos’ crisp side-footer was tipped over the bar by home keeper Lukas Gütlbauer. The young Austrian remained by far the busier of the keepers, denying Santos again from range, and also saving from Christian Gebauer before watching a couple of good chances fly wide of his posts as Altach really should have gone in front.

They thought they had taken the lead after a second half set-piece, but Constantin Reiner’s glancing header was ruled out for some pushing in the area, and as it was a dominant yet fruitless display from the guests, they had to thank their goalkeeper Dejan Stojanovic for a sensational save in stoppage time, as he somehow turned Augustine Boakye’s thunderous close-range effort safely up and over to leave both teams with two draws from two games in the group.

SC Austria Lustenau 1-2 WSG Tirol

Lustenau’s run of picking up points under new coach Andreas Heraf came to an end at the worst possible time, as WSG took an important step towards Bundesliga safety by beating their closest rivals. A competitive first half in Bregenz was punctuated by David Gugganig’s long ball forward which was met by Nik Prelec, who slotted it calmly into the bottom corner a few minutes before the interval. That was the seventh goal of the season for the Slovenian striker, who is one of just two players to have scored in each round since the league split.

Prelec got in behind again five minutes into the second half, and he had to be hauled down in a move which earned Kennedy Boateng a straight red card; Alexander Buksa the made the most of WSG’s advantage, netting his first Bundesliga goal from the spot following a handball on the hour mark. Lustenau then sprang to life in the contest, but it took until the 95th minute for Yadaly Diaby to reduce the deficit from a tight angle, alas that was too late to stop the hosts falling five points adrift at the foot of the table.


Championship Group

LASK 1-0 SK Austria Klagenfurt

LASK finally claimed a first victory of the year as Felix Luckeneder’s effort was just enough to edge them past Klagenfurt at the Raiffeisen Arena. Having been winless since December and without a goal since early February, LASK’s lack of confidence could be forgiven, and they relied mostly on set-pieces for their half-chances in a barren first 45 minutes. Max Besuschkow’s shot from the right was the guests’ best moment, but it wasn’t enough for his first Bundesliga goal.

Sinan Karweina has scored 10 times already this season for Peter Pacult’s side, but he was denied from a central position by a wonderful bit of keeping from Tobias Lawal early in the second half, and LASK rewarded their keeper’s efforts as a Sascha Horvath corner kick was expertly headed in towards the back post by Luckeneder just before the hour mark. Moses Usor should have put the game to bed yet his dinked effort over the Klagenfurt keeper trickled wide, however the hosts held on to stay in third, one point ahead of their nearest challengers Rapid.

TSV Egger Glas Hartberg 0-3 SK Rapid

Marco Grüll’s first career hat-trick fired Rapid to a simple away win against Hartberg, as Christoph Lang returned to his former loan station in East Styria for the first time.

Easter Sunday started off in style for Robert Klauß’s team, as it took only three minutes before a lovely passing move on the left saw Matthias Seidl and Isak Jansson combining well before the latter set up the returning Grüll for his first goal of the day with a low shot from inside the area. Hartberg grew into the game, but it was Rapid who added a second just before the break, after a cross hit the arm of Paul Komposch in the box and Grüll again picked out the bottom left corner, this time from the penalty spot.

The home side have done magnificently to earn their place in the Championship Round, and they tried their best to fight back against an opponent against whom they’ve oft enjoyed success, but again it was Rapid who proved the more clinical side, as ex-Hartberg man Lang set-up Grüll to fire in on the bounce for 3-0 late on. That took his tally to 11 goals for the season, earning himself the top spot in the Golden Boot race with eight rounds left to play, and leaving Rapid three points clear of Hartberg in the race for the European spots. To make matters worse for the hosts, the influential Donis Avdijaj picked up successive yellow cards and received his marching orders late on.

SK Puntigamer Sturm Graz 0-1 FC Red Bull Salzburg

Salzburg set down a statement in a big week for Austria’s two main trophy contenders, as they won in Graz to open up a five point lead at the top of the table.

Despite the fact that the teams will meet again in midweek in the ÖFB Cup Semi-Finals, they were not holding anything back in Sunday’s crucial league encounter, and although Sturm applied plenty of pressure to the defending champions throughout, the main man in the first half was Salzburg forward Fernando, who constantly ran at the Sturm defence and fired a number of shots just off target.

Neither side had truly tested the opposing keeper by the break, but just three minutes after the restart, a Flavius Daniliuc throw-in fell to Mads Bidstrup near the edge of the area, and the Dane made a clean contact to hammer the ball in at the near post before running the length of the field to celebrate his second goal in two games with the travelling fans. Sturm continued to press, and Jusuf Gazibegovic was desperately unlucky to see a long shot bounce back off the upright, before Salzburg’s Strahinja Pavlovic then had a headed goal ruled out for offside as both sides remained dangerous. Tempers ultimately boiled over in stoppage time, and Jon Gorenc-Stankovic, Dimitri Lavalée and Lucas Gourna-Douath all saw red, but the score stayed 1-0 to Salzburg, handing them a clear advantage in the title race.


Redakteur: The Other Bundesliga

Fotos: GEPA pictures

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