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Will Lusk become a spoiler for Storm Graz again?

Will Lusk become a spoiler for Storm Graz again?

In the 1980/81 season, league leaders Sturm Graz faltered in the penultimate round in Linz and then lost their first championship. Impact of learning from that time?

With its victory over LASK, Sturm Graz will secure the Bundesliga title on Sunday. However, a look at the history books serves as a warning to the Bundesliga leader: LASK were already a spoilsport for the Graz Black & Whites. In the penultimate round of the 1980/81 season, Sturm tied as leaders with Linz (2-2), but lost the championship under psychological pressure in the decisive home match against Rapid.

Thanks to Rapid's 4-1 win, Wiener Austria (6-1 vs. GAK) unexpectedly became champions for the fourth time in a row, but had to wait for the plate. League president Hans Rettinger clearly assumed that Gernot Jurten's side from Graz would take home their first title. So he began the journey to Graz with Meisterteller.

A quick laugh at the end

Instead, Reitinger saw quick success evident in a fully packed Lipino Stadium (22,000 spectators). Christian Keglevitz and Bernd Kraus fired the Vienna team around Antonin Panenka and Hans Krankel in the UEFA Cup with braces. For Sturm, Bozo Bakota could only temporarily reduce the score to 1:2 from a penalty kick.

The “maximum” success was almost just a pleasant success – Sturm became runner-up for the first time. “I was convinced we could do it,” coach Otto Baric once said in club magazine SturmEcho. “We didn't play that bad in the last match against Rapid, but the team wasn't mature enough. Psychologically.”

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A vehicle parked in front of the square, ordered to lead the new heroes of Styria to the city centre, was left empty. Suddenly the “theme anthem” by the hit band White Stars was worthless – even though it was already being played on regional radio during the day. The master sparkling wine was still drunk, or was renamed as “Deputy Master Sparkling Wine” to become a collector's item.

A week ago, two goals scored by Kurt Stendhal (1:0 and 2:2) were not enough for league leaders Sturm auf der Linzer Google to beat a team that was ranked seventh in the league at the time. After 43 years, a new edition will be released on Sunday, so to speak. If the first match point is awarded, a poignant final awaits Sturm in the final round – not against Rapid, but against Klagenfurt.

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