Rapid lost in the first six rounds before the end of the regular season in the Bundesliga. And the Hoteldorfer separated on Sunday evening at the end of the twentieth round of the third Sturm Graz 2: 2 and is two points behind Austria Vienna fifth and sixth in the seventh race only. As a result, the rehearsal of the second leg of the European Conference League in Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday (9:00 pm) could not be described as successful.
In front of 13,205 spectators at the Merkur Arena, Graz twice took a two-goal lead for new Danish striker Rasmus Höjlund (sixth), who recently scored twice in a 2-2 win over WSG Tirol, and Jakob Jantscher (69/pen). Emmanuel Ayew (35) and Kevin Weimer (83) prevented an away loss to Finn. Their primary position in the battle for a place in the championship group is not the best, at the end of WSG Tirol (away) and currently fourth Austria Klagenfurt (home) are still waiting.
Fast coach Ferdinand Feldhofer made four changes compared to the European Cup match, two of which were forced. ÖFB-U21’s 20-year-old goalkeeper Niklas Heidel has replaced Paul Gartler, who had been struggling with muscle issues, and celebrated his Bundesliga debut. Wimmer from the start defended Martin Moormann, who was injured and only sat on the bench. Christoph Kinsmöllner was favored over Yusuf Demir in the attacking midfield, and Kelvin Arase also played for Koya Kitagawa. Taxiarchis Fountas was not available as a replacement due to illness.
The beginning of the dream of Stormgraz
Sturm presented himself unchanged compared to the performance in Innsbruck and also made a dream start. After a throw-in, Jantscher prevailed in a duel with Aiwu, gave to the middle and completed the Höjlund five free-standing. Hedl blocked a double-hit from Jantscher’s shot at the near post (7′). It was also Gancher who shot from the far corner in the 25th minute. From now on, the Viennese players became more secure with the ball, switched them well and entered the last area better. Sturm lost control of the match and showed himself weak with a dead ball.
In the corner, Marco Grol indicated he was going to shoot him, but it was executed by Jonas Auer and his cross was used by the unprotected Ayo on the five-headed. 1:1 was due to the rapid increase in the second part of the first half. After the break, the game characteristics changed again, Sturm achieved more for the game and was closer to the winning goal. Even if there was little to see from the game in an intense event, the Grazers delivered once again.
Moormann, who came on as a substitute, knocked out Gregory Fotherich in the penalty area and referee Walter Altmann decided a penalty after being advised by the video referee. During the event, Filip Stojkovic also collided with Sturm’s John Gorink-Stankovic, which means that the player from Graz, who had previously sustained a knee injury, must be replaced. Guncher scored the penalty effortlessly.
However, Rapid is back again, backed by more than 1,000 fans away, and once again a steady piece was the starting point. After Demir’s corner kick, Wimer happily got the ball into the penalty area and hit the ball under the crossbar with his left hand. There was almost more inside. After another corner kick by Demir and Sippenhandel’s mistake, the ball fell on the post and David Avengruber managed to shoot Robert Ljubicic’s header away from the line (85). So there was a split of points in the duel between the two friends, coach Feldhofer and Christian Elzer. (Abba)