Hartberg was fully committed to the race for the top six and exacerbated the crisis in Vienna, Austria. East Styrians won the duel 2:1 (1:1) and moved into the top half of the table after their first home win of the season. On the other hand, Austria suffered its fourth defeat in the seventh round with only one win, and it fell to tenth place.
Andreas Gruber (10th) helped the Vienna team quickly advance before Hartberg responded through Denis Avdijaj (43rd and 51st) shortly before and after the break. Hartberg’s Ousmane Diakite (61) gave Austria the lead by half an hour, but coach Michael Wimmer’s team was unable to exploit that. Hartberg had recently lost six in a row to Austria in the league, so president Brigitte Anerl was able to fully enjoy her birthday party with the home team’s fans.
Victory even without entropy
Austria wanted to score big points against their favorite rival in the recent past, while TSV coach Markus Schaub wanted to upset the next major club in Vienna after beating Rapid (1-0). In late summer temperatures, things got crowded quickly. At Hartberg, Avdijaj was up front as five-time top scorer Maximilian Entrup was forced to miss the match with back problems. Austria was hoping for more stability in the midfield with the return of James Holland. Vienna needed just a few minutes to get their first great chance: Marvin Martins shot from eleven meters after a free kick, but he shot it over the bar.
The Purple Desire Stage reward followed soon after. A blocked shot from Vesnik Aslani became an assist for Gruber, who slotted the ball past Hartberg goalkeeper Rafael Sallinger. The 27-year-old has scored four of Austria’s only five goals this season. The Violets did not give up, and they kept up the pressure early, but conceded an equalizer almost immediately. After a throw-in, Avdijaj headed to Tobias Kainz, and Christian Früchtel responded with a brilliant save from a few meters (12th position).
Austria’s defense is weak
This shouldn’t be the Hartberger family’s only opportunity. After half an hour at the latest, East Styria was in the lead, and Austria was losing more and more of the thread and making familiar mistakes again. If the visitors’ attempt came to nothing, Hartberg had enough space to counter-attack.
For now, Martins saved the equalizer with a full effort from the goal line (39′), but shortly before half-time, Früchtel had no chance when Avdijaj fired a shot into the far corner after a counter-attack. The Austrian goalkeeper saved his team from the worst in the duel with Christoph Lange. Also in this scene, Wimmer’s defense was exposed. After their goal, Austria only remembered one scene when Aslani tried to beat the onrushing Salinger with a volley. Obviously the ball missed.
Introduction by Salinger
After the break, it seemed as if the Austrians had succeeded in controlling themselves, as Dominic Fitz fired a shot over the crossbar from an excellent position. Of all people, Früschtel, who had been strong until then, gave Hartberg a 2-1 win. The German completely miscalculated Salinger’s miss and Adegaj was free to score his second goal of the afternoon.
Diakite’s reckless action gave Austria hope again. The midfielder, who had already been warned, hit Manfred Fischer hard and had to leave the field. Schaub and Wimmer then tried to liven up the game with substitutions. Hartberg’s increasingly dense defensive line remained insurmountable for Austria, who was out of ideas.