With a 1-1 draw with Monaco, Styrian Bundesliga club scored a second point on the last day of the match. At lunchtime, Barty was still on edge due to heavy snowfall.
Sturm Graz put the Europa League season on a conciliatory end. Styria fought the Bundesliga 1-1 in the final Group B match against Monaco on Thursday night and took the second point after a 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad. The group was ranked fourth, so the departure of coach Christian Elzer was already fixed, as was the victory of the Monaco rally led by Niko Kovac and access to the round of 16.
After an early goal from Jacob Jancher (7/penalty kick), Graz could have dreamed of his first victory. Kevin Volland (30) equalized the score before the end of the first half. Despite the upcoming league battle for Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday, Kovac did without much rotation in the starting line-up. Only after the break did the Croats give some of the regular players a break.
After a heavy snowfall, the game was about to collapse at lunchtime, but thanks to the active support of the armed forces, the turf at Merkur Arena could be cleared in time. The host side made a great start. Manpreet Sarkarya hit a penalty kick by Strahinya Pavlovic in his hand inside the penalty area, the video referee intervened and Swedish referee Muhammad Al-Hakim decided the penalty after watching the TV pictures. Jantscher confidently used this in a corner.
Monaco responded almost immediately with Volland’s header after Julwin’s corner kick saved the crossbar (9). Otherwise, Sturm was well in-game, and had noticeably less possession, but more dangerous moments. After Matsima returned with a failed header, Sarkaria came from the best position until the end, but he missed the goal (11). The degree by Alexandre Brass was just blocked by Robin Aguilar (17).
That got his revenge in the 30th minute, and again it was very dangerous after Golowin’s corner kick – one of five corners before the break compared to any of Sturm’s. The ball reached Volland via turns, which failed first in Jörg Sippenhandel, but defeated the goalkeeper on the second attempt. After the second half, the changes made by the visitors did not have a negative effect, they dominated the match and pressed the winning goal, even as the forces waned somewhat in the storm.
Elliot Matazzo hit the ball (49), and Wilson Isidore was saved by the goalkeeper, who ran alone on Siebenhandl (58th position) and put the ball over it (66th position). No real attack was seen by the hosts until the 92nd minute. Kelvin Yeboah then appeared alone in front of Majecki, but did not take Jack into goal. However, unlike the 0-1 defeat in the principality, the Graz team took something that could be counted from the match this time.
The current meager record couldn’t really have been better: only one of his last 11 competitive matches could still be won. The last chance to improve that was on Sunday (2.30pm) in the league game away to Austria in Klagenfurt.
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