Round 16

Top 3 Players of Round 16:

Round 16 of the Tipico Bundesliga brought back fond memories for many, as it saw the return of Stefan Maierhofer who joined Wiener Neustadt during the week, following his most recent spell in England with Millwall FC. It was the same old story however for Rapid Vienna and Wolfsberger, as they both suffered their third straight losses, seeing them lose further ground on Salzburg at the top of the table. At the bottom of the league, Admira are beginning to look over their shoulder as Neustadt, who also announced Helgi Kolvidsson as their new manager, closed the gap between the sides to three points; while Ried extended the gap between 8th and 9th to four points. The big game on Sunday between Sturm and Salzburg did not disappoint, with the game being one of the most exciting 2:1 games you are ever likely to see, with Hütter’s men ultimately hanging on. Here are the full round-up of results:

SV Grödig 3-1 SK Rapid Vienna
FK Austria Vienna 4-0 FC Admira Wacker
SV Ried 2-1 SC Rheindorf Altach
SC Wiener Neustadt 2-0 Wolfsberger AC
SK Sturm Graz 1-2 Red Bull Salzburg.

#1 Philipp Huspek – Huspek, 23, now in his second season at Grödig, has been vital for the Salzburg-based side since his arrival, clocking up 11 goals and 13 assists in 57 appearances. Against a Rapid side struggling with defence injuries and a lack of form, Huspek and his Peruvian compatriot, Yordy Reyna, tore the Vienna side’s defence to shreds. The Austrian winger from Grieskirchen, gave Grödig a 2:1 lead moments before half-time, meeting a Stefan Nutz through-ball which he took around Jan Novota and managed to find the net despite a tight angle. The tie was killed off in the 73rd minute when Nutz once again found Huspek, who had timed his run perfectly to avoid the offside trap and he managed to finish past Novota with style and composure. Huspek now has 3 goals and 2 assists in his last four games and his form will be a massive factor if Grödig wish to replicate last year’s third placed finish.

Huspek

Picture courtesy of Laola1.at

 

#2  Stefan Nutz – Nutz, 22, achieved a feat not many footballers can say they have done in a competitive game. The deep-lying midfielder assisted all three of Grödig’s goals against Rapid Vienna. His first assist of the game was nothing more than fortunate as it was his miss-control that allowed the ball to travel through to Yordy Reyna who finished under the body of Jan Novota with a first-time hit. As mentioned above though, two of his assists were scored by Philipp Huspek, with the second of those assists literally timed and weighted to perfection.  Although Nutz does not stand out significantly from a statistical point of view, he has nearly been an ever-present for Grödig, missing only two games, with one of those due to suspension.

Nutz

Picture courtesy of Bundesliga.at

 

#3 Alexander Gorgon – With the scores level at 0:0 and the home crowd audibly disgruntled with Austria Vienna’s performance against Admira, it was actually Omer Damari who changed the game. It was the Israeli’s theatrics that although not in the spirit of the game, meant Admira captain Richard Windbichler received a straight red card for a tug on his shirt, denying him a clear goalscoring opportunity. Following the penalty it became the Gorgon show, with Daniel Royer also impressing off the bench. Royer scored an excellent goal from distance past Jörg Siebenhandl, but it was Gorgon who rubbed salt in Admira wounds with a further two goals, taking any respectability away from the scoreline. His first was a smart flicked header from a Florian Mader corner that caught out the Admira goalkeeper and flew into an empty net. His second goal was an indication of the true talent the 26 year old Austrian has. With defender Patrick Wessely directly blocking his route to goal, Gorgon expertly carved the ball around the Admira defender and into Siebenhandl’s bottom left hand corner. It leaves Gorgon’s stats looking very tidy with 3 goals and an assist in his last 3 starts for the Violets.

Gorgon

Picture courtesy of Christian Hofer

 

Notable mentions

Stefan Maierhofer – Maierhofer’s arrival in Neustadt came somewhat as a surprise as he looked to get back into the game following his release by Millwall FC from the Championship. His presence in training was praised by Günter Kreissl, who was acting as part of the interim coaching staff in Pfeifenberger’s absence. During his debut in the victory against Wolfsberger, his leadership was clear and he treated fans to a fantastic goal with a cheeky flick despite facing away from goal to open the scoring. Chances are he could only remain with the team until the Winter break, but it would be an even better coup if his services are secured in the league, at least until the end of the season.

Maierhofer

Picture courtesy of: GEPA pictures/ Martin Hoermandinger

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment and vote on the poll below.

Standard
Round 15

Top 3 Players of Round 15:

The  15th round of the Tipico Bundesliga was great spectacle and arguably my favourite round of the season so far, with the league providing some great action and results. In the early Saturday kick off, one of the most outrageous goals of the season was scored by Daniel Offenbacher, for Sturm Graz against Wolfsberger, where he scored a 60-metre strike following an inaccurate Alexander Kofler clearance. The Vienna Derby got ‘Super Sunday’ off to a great start with the Violets securing a nail-biting victory, despite Heinz Lindner’s best efforts in the Austria Vienna net, conceding two late goals! The real accolades go to Rheindorf Altach who stampeded to a 4:1 victory over Red Bull Salzburg. In doing so, they extended their unbeaten run in the league to 9 games, which goes all the way back to their 5:0 away loss to Salzburg in August. The draw in the Southern Derby also saw Heimo Pfeifenberger, 47, manage Wiener Neustadt for the last time, with him reportedly initiating a termination of his contract following the result. Here is the full round-up of results:

Wolfsberger AC 0:2 SK Sturm Graz
Admira Wacker 1-1 SC Wiener Neustadt
Grödig 0-1 SV Ried
SK Rapid Vienna 2-3 FK Austria Vienna
SC Rheindorf Altach 4-1 Red Bull Salzburg.

#1 Ivan Kovacec  Kovacec, 26, a Summer recruit from FC Liefering, having spent the second half of last season helping LASK Linz climb into the Erste Liga, played out of his skin against Red Bull Salzburg. The winger, originally from Zagreb, got the ball rolling for the home side, providing a pinpoint cross for Hannes Aigner to get the opening goal at the back post. Throughout the game, Kovacec terrorised both Peter Ankersen and Benno Schmitz down the left-hand side and he was finally rewarded with a goal of his own in the 81st minute, essentially killing off the tie. With Hütter’s men in disarray, Kovacec helped take all respectability from the scoreline, providing the assist for substitute Louis Ngwat-Mahop to score against his former side.Ivan Kovacec

#2 Omer Damari – The Israeli striker has been a regular feature on this blog and inevitably he came up big in the Vienna Derby. Of his two goals that gave the Violets a commanding 2:0 half time lead, it could be argued one was fortunate, but the other was pure class. His first strike and the game’s opener, came in the 23rd minute when Mario Leitgeb supplied a ball down the right hand side for Damari to break into the box and smashed home from a tight angle. Immediately eyebrows were raised as to how Jan Novota could have let the ball in through his hands, but sun glare could have been a factor. Damari’s finish for the second goal on the other hand, would not have been stopped by any goalkeeper. With his back to goal having received a Jens Larsen lay-off, the Israeli swivelled and smashed the ball home on the turn. It was a piece of brilliance and it took his league tally to 7 goals from 11 games.Damari

#3 César Ortiz – Ortiz, 25, from Toledo, Spain, was an unknown quantity for those who didn’t follow FC Vaslui in Romania, when he joined Altach this Summer. The right footed centre-half, who can also do a job at right-back or defensive midfield has not lost a game when in the starting lineup this season. Against Red Bull Salzburg, a daunting prospect for any defender in Austria, you would have perhaps forgiven Ortiz for being nervous, especially considering he watched the 5:0 reverse fixture from the bench in August, however, he was anything but. Ortiz was magnificent all game and he was a major factor in keeping Salzburg down to the solitary goal, Salzburg’s fewest goals in a game since September 14th (1:0 loss to Wolfsberger). Compared to Salzburg’s Franz Schiemer, Oritz made more tackles (9), clearances (16), blocks (2), interceptions (9) and fewer fouls (1) and even Andre Ramalho didn’t beat him in any of those categories either. Not a bad way to keep your side 3rd in the league! Ortiz

Notable mentions

The Altach squad – It would be unfair to single out Kovacec and Ortiz when the entire squad turned the league on its head with their 4:1 victory. In particular, Ismael Tajouri and Patrick Salomon also played very well. The work done on the sidelines by Dietmar Canadi should also be noted. Altach

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment and vote on the poll below.

Standard
Round 14

Top 3 Players of Round 14:

Halloween was very much still in the air during the 14th round of the Tipico Bundesliga. Most notably, both Austria and Rapid Vienna were served Halloween tricks by Sturm Graz and Rheindorf Altach, respectively. Meanwhile, both Ried and Red Bull Salzburg were given Halloween treats in the form of important wins. The wins saw Ried edge away from Wiener Neustadt at the bottom of the table and Salzburg were finally able to go clear at the top of the table. The game between Wiener Neustadt and Grödig was no exception to the theme, as thick fog led to the game being called off by the referee, as he deemed the conditions unplayable. Thankfully, it was replayed in midweek, with fans being treated to a goal-fest. Here are the full round-up of results:

FK Austria Vienna 0-3 SK Sturm Graz
Red Bull Salzburg 2-0 FC Admira Wacker
SV Ried 1-0 Wolfsberger AC
SC Rheindorf Altach 2-0 SK Rapid Vienna
SC Wiener Neustadt 2-4 SV Grödig.

#1 Yordy Reyna– The Peruvian, fresh from a call-up to his national team, was unstoppable in the first half against Neustadt. The 21-year old took his tally in the league to 8, with a clinical first-half hattrick. The diminutive striker had grabbed a brace within the first 10 minutes of the game, with the home side’s defence completely falling apart. Following a Kristijan Dobras strike to bring the score back to 2:1, Reyna clinched his hattrick in the 40th minute with a looping header that deceived Domenik Schierl. If I was Ried boss Oliver Glasner, I would not be looking forward to facing Reyna in round 15 with him in this type of form.Yordy Reyna

#2 Marco Djuricin– Djuricin finally received an international boost this week, perhaps in part to his performance against Austria Vienna, as he was promoted to the Austrian national side’s stand-by list. The striker who was missing due to suspension in his side’s 3:1 league loss against Rapid Vienna, returned to the league with a bang, notching a brace. The two goals took his tally to 8, joint with both Reyna and Rapid’s Robert Berić, who only trail Jonathan Soriano, who is on 16. His first goal came from a misplaced Thomas Salamon pass-back, which Anel Hadzic snapped up and released to Djurcin to slide past Heinz Lindner. His 2nd was just as clinical as an incisive one-two with Marko Stankovic released him on goal to finish again under the body of Lindner. Against a struggling Violets defence, it was a very good day at the office to say the least.Marco Djuricin

#3 Felix Roth– Roth literally blew Rapid Vienna away as Altach extended their unbeaten record in the league to 8 games. The 26-year old German, who had also scored a fantastic strike in the opening round of the season against Sturm Graz, was at it once again. His goal against Sturm was measured at 93 km/h, but he out-did himself with a 95 km/h strike from 28 metres, giving Jan Novota no chance in the Rapid net. The goal marked an all-round performance by the midfielder as he notched up a 78% percent pass success rate, as well as making 6 tackles and 3 interceptions.Felix Roth

Notable mentions:

Jonathan Soriano– Soriano was in great form again as he scored twice against Admira. His two goals took him to 76 for Red Bull Salzburg, overtaking Marc Janko as their all-time top scorer in the league. Jonathan Soriano

Anel Hadzic- The Bosnian international has definitely come into his own over the past couple of months for Sturm, and was once again vital in their victory over Austria Vienna. Despite battling with a rib injury during the week, he was a dominant figure in the game, featuring in both defence and attack, including the assist for the 2nd goal of the game. Anel Hadzic

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment and vote on the poll below.

Standard
Round 13

Top 3 Players of Round 13:

There was only one winner in the 13th segment of the Tipico Bundesliga, as Rapid Vienna ensured Franco Foda received his first taste of defeat in his latest spell as Sturm boss. Zoran Barisic’s men closed the gap on the top two to 6 points, as Wolfsberger and Red Bull Salzburg were both held to draws. The stand-out performance came from Austria Vienna who dominated basement side Neustadt, in a game that worryingly saw Neustadt striker Herbert Rauter pull up with an injury. The 32-year old has scored nearly 40% of their goals in the league this season. Elsewhere, in the Salzburg-Derby, Grödig nearly stunned the 10-man Bulls, with Marcel Sabitzer scoring a vital 81st minute equaliser. Here are the full round-up of scores:

FC Admira Wacker 0-0 SV Ried
FK Austria Vienna 2-0 SC Wiener Neustadt
Wolfsberger AC 0-0 SC Rheindorf Altach
SK Sturm 1-3 SK Rapid Vienna
SV Grödig 2-2 Red Bull Salzburg.

#1 Stefan Schwab – Schwab, 24, has really come into his own over the past few weeks. The Austrian playmaker has finally settled in at Rapid, following his Summer move from Admira and had a game to remember against Sturm Graz. At just over 6-foot, Schwab impressed early on, winning several aerial duels in midfield and in the Sturm box. It wasn’t until the 36th minute however, that he finally broke the deadlock in Graz. A Stefan Stangl cross from the left hand side was met by Schwab just inside the box; his header was accurate, powerful and flew past a motionless Christian Graztei into the top corner. With Steffen Hofmann having left the field with a knock, with the score posed at 1:2, Schwab took over set-piece duty and delivered a pinpoint cross that Christopher Dibon, expertly headed into the far corner to take the game away from Sturm and Franco Foda. Unfortunately, despite scoring against Sturm later on in the week, this time in the cup, it looks like we may not see him for several weeks due to ankle ligament damage.Schwab

#2 Yordy Reyna – The 21-year old Peruvian nearly won the Salzburg-Derby almost single handedly. The speedster completely dominated the Red Bull defence, with both Franz Schiemer and Martin Hinteregger unable to cope with his pace and runs behind the defence. Reyna opened the scoring in the 7th minute with a decent run down the right-hand side of the box, with his shot too hot for Péter Gulácsi to handle, sneaking in at the near post. It came as no surprise then, when in the 37th minute, the former Red Bull striker raced behind their defence, forcing Gulácsi to bring him down, conceding both a penalty and getting himself sent off in the process. Philpp Huspek subsequently scored the penalty to give Grödig  a 2:1 half time lead, but they were ultimately unable to extend their lead or hang on for all the 3 points. Either way, it was another performance of note by Reyna as he looks to try and get himself back in the Peruvian national side; it surely can only be a matter of time.Yordy Reyna

#3 Cican Stankovic – Stankovic, 21, was praised by manager Michael Baur following this game, who announced him as the best goalkeeper in the league. The young Austrian was in imperious form, denying the Salzburg attackers on various occasions, but ultimately, Marcel Sabitzer’s 81st minute strike, was too good for him. It was his memorable save from an Alan header however, that separates him from other keepers in the league. Alan had a free header in the centre of the Grödig goal and directed it perfectly towards the top left-hand corner. Stankovic however, dove to his left and somehow palmed the ball up and over his crossbar, only for the ball to balance on top of the woodwork and finally drop down for a corner. It was a magnificent piece of play and it could have perhaps won a point for side.Cican Stankovic

 

Notable Mention:

Daniel Royer – Royer has been a bright light in an inconsistent Austria Vienna side in the past few weeks. Against bottom side Wiener Neustadt, Royer was the best player for the Violets, with his opener setting the tone for the rest of the game.Daniel Royer

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment and vote on the poll below.

This article will also appear on http://www.calciodellest.com/ – check it out!

 

Standard