ADMIRAL Bundesliga Matchday 31 Reviews

13. May 2024 in Englisch

Championship Round

LASK 2-2 SK Puntigamer Sturm Graz

LASK and Sturm played out a pulsating 2-2 draw on Sunday evening, with the result ultimately leaving both sides disappointed on the day. The home team had won four out of their last five games under new coach Thomas Darazs, and hopes were high that the Linzers could catch Salzburg and secure second spot. They came out on top in a physical first phase, and 20 minutes in, Adil Taoui did well on the right to square across the box for Florian Flecker to slot in his fourth goal since the Championship Group began. Sturm struggled to mount a response, but some industrious pressing saw Maxi Talovierov dispossessed near his own goal, giving Mika Biereth a simple chance to lay the ball on a plate for Otar Kiteishvili who leveled the game at 1-1. After the break, Sturm took the lead when Alexander Prass danced along the edge of the box, before offloading for Kiteishvili who curled in a precise finish for his ninth goal of a tremendous campaign. With the 2-1 advantage, Sturm were heading for the Bundesliga title, but Dimitri Lavalee chopped down Marin Ljubicic in the area on 75 minutes, and the Croatian striker converted coolly from the spot to take it to 2-2. Seedy Jatta’s header crashed back off the crossbar late on as Sturm pushed for a title-winning goal, but LASK more than held their own, and were good value for a point. They’re now guaranteed to finish third, whilst Sturm have another chance to seal the championship when they face Klagenfurt at home in Graz next Sunday.

TSV Egger Glas Hartberg 1-5 FC Red Bull Salzburg

Salzburg took the title race down to the final day, with a third 5-1 win over Hartberg in their last four league meetings against the Styrian side.

A furious first half saw Roko Simic notch his first goal of the group, after home keeper Raphael Sallinger couldn’t hold onto a shot from Karim Konate early on. The young Ivorian then got on the score sheet himself, hitting the post before the rebound popped up kindly for him to head in Salzburg’s second. Hartberg mounted a brief response when Donis Avdijaj fired in his 11th goal of the season, but on the stroke of half time Sekou Koita lifted the ball over the keeper and flicked it cleverly into the empty net to restore the guests’ two-goal cushion. Another neat finish from Konate extended the lead to 4-1 shortly after the restart, and he would complete his hat-trick with 10 minutes remaining, when he got on the end of a long ball over the top, and calmly did the rest to take the score to 5-1. That’s a mighty nine goals in nine games in the Championship Group for the league’s leading scorer, and it keeps Salzburg in the title hunt before their final day meeting with in-form LASK. The Red Bulls must win, and hope that Sturm slip-up on home turf, if they are to extend their long series of success in the Bundesliga.

SK Austria Klagenfurt 0-1 SK Rapid

Rapid secured fourth spot in the table by narrowly overcoming Klagenfurt in Carinthia.

Despite a good start from Peter Pacult’s home team, they were unable to find a way past Niklas Hedl in the Rapid goal, with a number of shots blocked, saved or sailing wide, and although the guests struggled for much of the first half, striker Guido Burgstaller went close with a header. The key moment of the match came just seconds after the restart, when Marco Grüll clipped a pass through the home defence and into the box for Fally Mayulu, who remained composed and blasted a low finish past Philipp Menzel for the game’s solitary goal. With striker Sinan Karweina suspended, Klagenfurt couldn’t find a way back into the contest despite another good showing from Andy Irving in midfield, and they remain rooted to the foot of the table, and will need to beat Sturm on the final day and hope Hartberg lose, if they’re to sneak into fifth place. For Rapid, it’s the first time since two wins against WSG Tirol in 2021 that they’ve triumphed twice in consecutive Championship Group games, and it means the Hütteldorfers will start next season in the second round of UEFA Europa League qualifying.


Qualification Round

SC Austria Lustenau 1-0 FC Blau-Weiß Linz

Even though they won a second successive match for the first time all season – they have only mustered four victories in total – results elsewhere meant that Austria Lustenau’s two-year stay in the Austrian Bundesliga came to an end with one match still to play. The Vorarlbergers won 1-0 against promoted Blau-Weiß Linz, who launched a promising attack in the 14th minute only for Ronivaldo to go for goal himself rather than lay the ball off to Simon Seidl. Instead, it was Lustenau who opened the scoring on the 37-minute mark when Namory Cissé backheeled the ball to Yadaly Diaby, who beat Lukas Tursch before firing a low effort past BWL goalie Andreas Lukse and inside the back post. Gerald Scheiblehner’s charges made a bright start to the second period but Domenik Schierl first brilliantly turned a Ronivaldo header onto the woodwork then made an outstanding double save to keep out Alexander Briedl’s long-range strike and Paul Mensah’s follow-up – though the latter was offside anyway. In the end, Lustenau held on for the win but it will be of little consolation to Andreas Heraf’s side, whose clash with local rivals Altach on the final day will now be something of a dead rubber.

FK Austria Wien 0-4 RZ Pellets WAC

Former Austria Vienna boss Manfred Schmid made a highly enjoyable return to his former club as Wolfsberg leapfrogged the Violets into top spot in the Qualification Group courtesy of a sizeable win in the capital. The home team actually started on the front foot: Fisnik Asllani spurned two chances before Reinhold Ranftl was closed down well by Lukas Gütlbauer in goal for the Carinthian visitors, who then took the lead when Samson Tijani gathered a clearance outside the penalty area and struck an outstanding left-footed effort into the back of the net off the inside of the upright. It was the Nigerian’s first Bundesliga goal. Gütlbauer then made more great stops to deny Asllani and Andreas Gruber either side of the interval, before Thierno Ballo won and subsequently converted a penalty at the other end to double the Wolfsberg lead. With coach Michael Wimmer then dismissed from the sidelines for two bookable offences, Austria Vienna lost their way and conceded two more goals in the final quarter of an hour through Simon Piesinger and substitute Augustine Boakye. With the top spots in the bottom half already secured, the two teams will meet again in the play-off before the season is out. The final day of the Qualification Group will now determine which team enjoys home advantage in the semi-final.

WSG Tirol 0-1 CASHPOINT SCR Altach

Altach leapfrogged WSG Tirol into fourth spot in the Qualification Group and also ensured they will be playing Bundesliga football for the 11th consecutive season thanks to a slender away victory against WSG Tirol, who bade farewell to outgoing coach Thomas Silberberger – the longest-serving manager in the division by some distance – prior to kick-off. It was the last home game in charge of the club for the 50-year-old, who has overseen 377 league matches over an 11-year period. Altach could have taken the lead earlier, only for Lukas Gugganig’s powerful header from Lukas Jäger’s cross into the box to be successfully repelled by Adam Stejskal in the WSG goal. But Gugganig did eventually find the net four minutes before the break when he fired home Gustavo Santos’ chipped cross towards the back post. It came after Bror Blume had spurned a double chance for the Tyroleans, first failing to beat Dejan Stojanović and then sending his lob over the bar after the goalkeeper had come rushing off his line. WSG did have their moments in the second half and almost equalised when Valentino Müller curled around the post in the 70th minute. But the leveller ultimately never came and Altach hung on to spoil the Silberberger party and beat relegation.


Redakteur: The Other Bundesliga

Fotos: GEPA pictures

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