SK Austria Klagenfurt 1-3 LASK
Klagenfurt’s impressive unbeaten start to the season came screeching to a halt on home turf after the visitors raced into an unassailable 3-0 half time lead at the 28 Black Arena.
Three was the magic number for LASK, as each of their front three scored to give them three points with a third successive league win. Marin Ljubicic smartly poked home Sascha Horvath’s square ball after 36 minutes, before Robert Zulj ripped open the home defence with a perfect pass to put the ball on a plate for Florian Flecker, and Elias Havel’s solo run and finish tripled the advantage on 44 minutes. Havel was enjoying his starting debut, and repaid his manager’s faith with a third goal involvement in four games, for Flecker and Ljubicic they were the first goals of the new season.
A triple substitution at the interval made a difference for Klagenfurt, and Sinan Karweina set up Solomon Bonnah for an emphatic near-post finish early in the second half; Karweina has now played his part in eight of his side’s 12 goals this season, but LASK’s lead was never truly endangered before time was up. The guests remain in third place, with the home side slipping to fifth after their first taste of defeat this term.
FC Blau Weiß Linz 1-1 CASHPOINT SCR Altach
Altach’s long winless run against promoted sides stretched to seven games, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Blau Weiß in Linz on Saturday.
The visitors took the lead after 13 minutes when Gustavo Santos’ delivery from the left was expertly headed in by Atdhe Nuhiu. Santos has now been involved in a goal in three of his last four Bundesliga games, whilst Nuhiu has scored eight of his last ten goals thanks to his aerial prowess. The home side responded well to falling behind, and Simon Pirkl controlled a long ball brilliantly and volleyed it in at the near post after 26 minutes for his second of the season.
Blau Weiß keeper Nicolas Schmid made a couple of good saves to keep his side level as Altach looked to finally triumph over a Bundesliga newcomer once more, but in the end neither side offered quite enough to win it. Altach are in seventh on eight points, Blau Weiß are in ninth having collected their fifth point of the campaign.
SK Puntigamer Sturm Graz 2-2 FC Red Bull Salzburg
Saturday evening’s big game did not disappoint, as the league’s top-two sides both went all out for the win, resulting in a fiery, action-packed thriller in a sold out Merkur Arena.
Sturm started well and saw an early goal from Otar Kiteishvili ruled out after an offside call from a free kick. 20 minutes in, an impromptu firework display from a group of home fans caused a major stoppage, and it was Salzburg who had the upper hand once the game restarted; a fortunate deflection sent a shot spinning into the path of Samson Baidoo, who steered home only his second league goal from close range to leave his side deservedly ahead at the break.
After the interval, the home side responded in some style. Manprit Sarkaria’s corner appeared to float too far outside of the area, but Kiteishvili collected it 30-yards-out and lashed the ball in off the bottom of the bar for a thunderous equaliser. Noise levels went up even further when Sarkaria himself was given just enough room on the edge of the area to pick out the bottom corner and turn the game on its head after 63 minutes. The lead lasted only 10 minutes though, as Sekou Koita levelled from the spot after a scrappy passage of play had resulted in a Salzburg penalty. Kjell Scherpen made a number of excellent stops in the Graz goal, as the game ultimately ended level. Salzburg stay top, having failed to win for the first time this season, Sturm are two points back and have gone seven games unbeaten at the start of a season for the first time since 1997/98.
SC Austria Lustenau 2-3 WSG Tirol
WSG came through another high-scoring encounter to claim their first win of the season, and move off the bottom of the Bundesliga at Lustenau’s expense.
For the second game in succession WSG were up against fellow strugglers, with both teams in desperate need of points. The guests saw an early opener chalked off for offside, but late on in the first half they would score twice in four minutes; Kofi Schulz hammered home a loose ball in the box, before Nik Prelec finished off for 2-0 after Matthäus Taferner cleverly knocked the ball back into space for him following a cross from the right.
A triple change from Markus Mader at half time secured a big momentum swing, and although his brother Jonathan Schmid was still on the bench, it was Lustenau’s Anthony Schmid who pulled one back with a delightful turn and run, before a nutmeg finish five minutes into the second half. Seven minutes later he had his first Bundesliga brace, as he equalised with a breathtaking overhead kick into the far corner, but ultimately his efforts were to go unrewarded, as WSG soon retook the lead through Lukas Sulzbacher’s low finish after a one-two on the right. His first goal of the season moved the Tyrolean team on to five points, with Lustenau languishing on two.
TSV Egger Glas Hartberg 2-1 FK Austria Vienna
Hartberg solidified their place in the top six with a statement win at home against struggling Austria Vienna, thanks to a Donis Avdijaj brace either side of the interval.
All began brightly for Austria Vienna, as their pressure in the opening phase was capped by Andreas Gruber’s quick thinking, nipping into the area for a poacher’s finish after 10 minutes. He’s now scored 4 of his team’s 5 league goals this season. He might have wished that his teammates had added some more though, as Hartberg turned the tide and forced Austria keeper Christian Früchtl into several good saves, before he was ultimately wrong-footed by a classy Donis Avdijaj strike from the edge of the box just before the break.
Six minutes after the restart, home keeper Raphael Sallinger blasted a long ball downfield which the on-rushing Früchtl completely misjudged, allowing Avdijaj to put Hartberg ahead with an empty net to aim at. In the process Sallinger became the first Hartberg keeper to register a Bundesliga assist, and the returning Avdijaj has now scored in four successive Bundesliga games (across two seasons) for the first time. With no other goals, Hartberg fans could enjoy their free drinks in honour of Club President Brigitte Annerl’s birthday, their team sit in fourth place, with Austria Vienna down in tenth.
SK Rapid Vienna 3-3 RZ Pellets WAC
WAC rescued a point with the last kick of a dramatic game, claiming a draw against 10-man Rapid in Hütteldorf on Sunday evening.
After starting strongly in the match, Wolfsberg will have felt hard done by to fall behind half an hour in, when the ball was gifted to the home side, and Fally Mayulu fired in from outside of the box. Leopold Querfeld even doubled Rapid’s advantage shortly before half time, when he shinned home a corner kick having been left free in the area - all three of his career Bundesliga goals have come from set-pieces.
WAC were then handed a lifeline when home defender Terence Kongolo saw red for stopping a goal-scoring chance, and not only did Mohamed Bamba bury the resulting penalty, but he shocked the home crowd by heading in an equaliser with 15 minutes to play, although there was more drama to come. Martin Moormann restored the lead late on for 10-man Rapid, but deep into the seven minutes of stoppage time, Thomas Sabitzer volleyed the ball past Niklas Hedl to make it 3-3 with WAC’s latest ever Bundesliga goal (96:46). Rapid are in sixth on nine points, with Wolfsberg two places and two points back.
Redakteur: The Other Bundesliga
Fotos: GEPA pictures