The Tipico Bundesliga continued to excite as it reached its halfway stage, with only one more game round before the Winter break. The early game saw Austria Vienna lose having been two goals up for the first time since 18th July 2001 (GAK 2:3), as the Bulls of Salzburg stormed back with four second half goals in Vienna. A meagre crowd of 862 saw Grödig dismantle a struggling Admira side, who have now gone a staggering 10 league games without a win (13th September, Sturm Graz, 2:0). Both Sturm and Neustadt enjoyed victories that kept up their recent good form. Sturm have been much improved under Franco Foda and lie only 2 points off the second Champions League place. The signing of Stefan Maierhofer has coincided with two wins from Neustadt’s last three games and if they better Admira’s result in round 19, they can avoid going into the break at the bottom of the table. Dietmar Kuhbauer’s Wolfsberger were able to finally score in front of their home fans through a René Seebacher goal against Rapid. The Wolves had gone 324 minutes without scoring a goal at home, but the 26-year old’s strike did not end the winless run, which has now extended to seven games (4th October, Austria Vienna, 2:0). Here are the full round-up of results:
FK Austria Vienna 2-4 Red Bull Salzburg
SV Grödig 5-0 FC Admira Wacker
SK Sturm Graz 3-1 SV Ried
SC Wiener Neustadt 2-0 SC Rheindorf Altach
Wolfsberger AC 1-1 SK Rapid Vienna.
#1 Stefan Nutz – Nutz, 22, continued his rich vein of form for Grödig with two goals of high quality against Admira. The young Austrian has subsequently been linked with a move away from the club with FC Kaiserslautern a heavily touted destination. With the game all but over at 3-0, Nutz stepped up to curl a beautiful freekick from the edge of the box past a helpless Jörg Siebenhandl. The win, which was the biggest home win for Grödig since a 7-1 demolition of Admira on the 3rd August 2013, was rounded off by Nutz who grabbed an excellent second goal. Thomas Goiginger did well down the left-hand side and his cross was met emphatically by a diving Nutz who directed the ball into the bottom corner with his head. It was a good day all round with Yordy Reyna (x2) and Daniel Schütz also getting in on the goalscoring action.
#2 Alan Carvalho – Alan’s record this season speaks for itself with the Brazilian-born striker having scored 22 goals in 24 appearances this season. Staggeringly, Alan has only scored in 10 of these games and his hattrick against Austria Vienna marked his second of the season, with his first coming against Dinamo Zagreb in a 4-2 Europa League win. The comeback for Red Bull began in the 52nd minute with a delicious Andreas Ulmer ball being gratefully met by Alan who eluded the poor marking of Lukas Rotpuller. Less than five minutes later the scores were level. Kevin Kampl, who had worked hard all game in both defence and attack was able to prod the ball through to Alan, who with his left foot, managed to squeeze the ball in off the post. The comeback and Alan’s hattrick was complete within 8 minutes of his first goal. A defence splitting pass by Kampl found Massimo Bruno on the right-hand side who was then able to slide in Alan to finish past a shell-shocked Heinz Lindner. Once again it was Salzburg’s attack that bailed out their defence and with 19-goal Jonathan Soriano out with illness, Alan certainly stepped up to the plate.
#3 Alexander Kofler – Kofler, 28, has had a break-out season for Wolfsberger this year, with the Austrian on the periphery of making Marcel Koller’s national side. The keeper from Klagenfurt has managed five clean sheets in the league this season, but his performance against Rapid Vienna in the 1-1 draw was arguably his best of the season. With the scores tied at 1-1 and the game deep into added time, Kofler pulled off a vital save to deny Florian Kainz who had been played in by Louis Schaub. The save, one of six he made all game, ultimately earned his side a point that gave his side a great chance of remaining second in the table over the Winter break (2 points above Sturm).
Yordy Reyna – 2 goals (SV Grödig)
Marco Djuricin – 1 goal (SK Sturm Graz)
Kristijan Dobras – 1 goal 1 assist/penalty won (SC Wiener Neustadt)
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