In a duel with their neighbors in Styria in front of 15,142 spectators at the Grazer Merkur Arena, the guests from Carinthia were guaranteed clear conditions even before the break. Luca Luchochvili (eighth min), Tai Baribou (nineteenth) and Michael Lindell (25th) made a comfortable lead in the first 45 minutes. Dario Wezinger completed the match in the 76th minute after Ivan Ljubic reduced Sturm’s lead (53).
With the clear win and simultaneous defeat of Austria Klagenfurt against namesake Austria from Vienna, Wolfsbergers increased their lead in sixth place to four points and thus at least fought the duel in the European Cup play-off against Tyrol, as the pole position in the league conference certainly goes. Third place and thus a place in the European League is still possible, because the difference against Wiener Austria is only one point before the last round. In the end, she is at home against Rapid – a direct contender for third place.
Wydad celebrates a clear victory in Graz
RZ Pellets WAC opened the door to Europe with a party on Sunday in the 31st and penultimate round of the Admiral Bundesliga. The Wolfsbergers celebrated by crushing Puntigamer runners-up Sturm Graz 4-1 and thus at least secured a place in the playoff against qualifier winner WSG Tirol.
Wydad started fiercely
Despite some team changes, the visitors from Lavanttal got off to a good start and settled into the attacking break at a corner chain. After this corner kick, the ball reached Lochoshvili, who had gone ahead, and dropped the ball from 16 meters into the far corner, which is worth watching (8′). Wydad remained on the offensive line, Sturm, with Aleksandar Borkovic replacing ailing David Avengruber in the starting line-up, and finding it difficult to enter the match.
The Carinthians coldly exploited this weakness. In the 19th minute, Novak, who replaced Addis Jasic, replaced Paribou, who was in the starting lineup for Wezinger’s team, and scored with a powerful shot from the penalty area to make the score 2-0. In their last home game of the season, Wydad became a fright of the party for second-placed Storm. Lendl made it 3-0 after just 25 minutes from the penalty kick.
However, the fans unsuccessfully waited for a successful offensive action by the hosts in the first half hour. Captain Jacob Guncher had his first chance to score, but Dominic Baumgartner made a strange save across the bar (30 min). Christian Elzer reacted to the disappointing performance in the 34th minute with a three-way substitution. Entering the dressing room in the first half, only a few whistles were heard from the Graz fans, who supported the match well despite their apparent helplessness.
Storm lovers can only hope for a while
Sturm did not give in to Full House and reduced the score to 1:3 after 53 minutes. Ljubic headed a free kick from Janscher in the goal. For a short while, the match was no longer clearly going in the direction of Wydad’s clear victory. Alexander Brass missed the missed corner kick with a good chance (63). However, this was another really good chance for Grats in the match. At the other end, Baribo missed the final decision by a hair’s width (70′). Substitute Vizinger (76) succeeded.
In the end, Sturm had to concede defeat with one of the season’s weakest performances and continued the negative trend against Wydad at home. Lavanttaler won for the seventh time in a row at Graz, its last home win against Wolfsberger on December 2, 2018.
Comments about the game:
Christian Elzer (Coach Sturm): “The disappointment is too great. We didn’t find our way into the game and couldn’t give answers to the Wydad match initially on the pitch. It was probably our worst game of the season. I have to refer to myself first and work through this game myself. Then I analyze the match with the team. WAC took advantage of our weaknesses today with a very strong performance. We did not have the presence that would have been necessary against WAC in today’s constitution. But I think the team’s reaction in the second half was good.”
Robin Dot (Wydad coach): “A really important win for us. The team was very determined from the start. We progressed really well, we were good in the second balls and had a really good first half with great passion. After the goal which was to make it 1:3, Sturm really pressed. We worked our way up to the final on Saturday (against Rapid, note). We wanted to create that situation today.”
Bundesliga Admiral, Group Champion, Round 31
Sturm Graz – WAC 1: 4 (0:3)
Graz, Merkur Arena, 15.142, SR Kijas
0-1 Lukoshvili (8′)
0-2 Paribou (19 minutes)
0: 3 Lendl (25 / penalty kick)
1-3 Lübeck (53′)
Pan 1: 4 (76)
Storm: Siebenhandl – Gazibegovic (34./Jäger), Wüthrich, Borkovic (61./Niangbo), Dante (34./Kuen) – Gorenc-Stakovic (34./Kronberger) – Ljubic (71./Kiteishvili), Sarkaria, Prass – Hoglund, Guncher
WAC: Koffler – Novak, Baumgartner, Lochoshvili (65 / Gugganig), Dedic – Taferner (81st / Wernitznig), Leitgeb, Veratschnig (70 / Vizinger) – Liendl (81 / Sprangler) – Baribo, Röcher
Yellow Cards: None or Röcher, Veratschnig, Taferner
Best: Jantscher or Veratschnig, Lochoshvili, Baumgartner, Baribo
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