Round 21

Round Review: Round 21

Player of the Round:

Denis Thomalla

Thomalla (left) celebrates following his 2nd goal against Red Bull Salzburg. (Picture courtest of GEPA/Felix Roittner)

Thomalla (left) celebrates following his 2nd goal against Red Bull Salzburg. (Picture courtesy of GEPA/Felix Roittner)

The German striker, on-loan from RB Leipzig in the 2.Bundesliga, proved too hot to handle for Salzburg as his brace nearly earned Ried a valuable three points. Despite only joining at the beginning of September, his two strikes now make him Ried’s top scorer (6), whilst he has also set up the most goals for his side too (4). Talk has already begun on Ried trying to secure his services beyond this season, despite his contract with the German side running until 2017. One thing is certain though, Thomalla will continue to be a vital player for Ried if they wish to improve on their current 8th place position.

 

Goal of the Round:

It was an extremely difficult choice, with 19 goals being scored in only 4 matches this weekend. I managed to shortlist my final two, which you can watch below. Thomas Weber’s ‘hit and hope’ from so far outside the box was a fantastic moment in what was otherwise a dull game. It was also the 21-year old’s first Bundesliga goal in his 49th appearance for the club and Marko Maric in the Rapid Vienna goal, could do nothing about it.

Dominik Hofbauer’s volley in the 88th minute against Sturm Graz was a crazy way to end what was an extraordinary game. The midfielder, in his second spell with Wiener Neustadt following his move in January from Erste Liga side Sankt Pölten, will probably never score another goal like it. The goal took great technique but also carried extra importance given Neustadt’s predicament at the bottom of the Bundesliga table. The game also saw excellent goals from new signings Philip Hellquist (Neustadt) and Roman Kienast (Sturm Graz).

Picture of the Round:

Holzhauser (left), Gorgon (centre) and Zulechner (right) celebrate with Fabian Koch after his first Bundesliga goal versus Altach. (Picture courtesy of Austria Vienna (c))

Holzhauser (left), Gorgon (centre) and Zulechner (right) celebrate with Fabian Koch after his first Bundesliga goal versus Altach. (Picture courtesy of Austria Vienna)

Controversy of the Round:

Despite being “on probation” following the Derby day riots, Rapid fans inevitably got themselves into hot water as they ignored warnings that their use of pyrotechnics could result in a fine and fan sanctions. During the game against Admira, it was evident that these warnings had not been adhered to and on Monday the Bundesliga Senate announced a €35,000 fine and a fan ban in sectors C and D (the Rapid Ultra’s stronghold) at their home ground.

A Rapid Vienna fan holds a flair at the away game vs. Admira Wacker (photo courtesy of Laola1.at)

A Rapid Vienna fan holds a flare at the away game vs. Admira Wacker. (Picture courtesy of Laola1.at)

Full results:

FK Austria Wien 5-2 SC Rheindorf Altach
SK Sturm Graz 3-3 SC Wiener Neustadt
SV Ried 2-2 RB Salzburg
FC Admira Wacker 1-1 SK Rapid Vienna
SV Grödig P-P Wolfsberger AC.

Final Word:

Although it was far too late for Grödig’s game against Wolfsberger to be saved, the Salzburg-based side finally had some good news. Reports had suggested that the side had been turned down from every club they approached, as they looked for alternative venues for their home games, but the Red Bull Arena (Salzburg) and the No Worries Arena (Ried) have now become available. In addition, Grödig announced under-lawn heating was to be installed at the Goldberg Stadion, as well as new turf. They currently have two games in hand on the rest of the league following the postponement of their first two games of the Spring season.

Grodig's Goldberg Stadion undergoing the under-lawn heating transformation. (Picture via SV Grödig)

Grödig’s Goldberg Stadion undergoing the under-lawn heating transformation. (Picture via SV Grödig)

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment as always.

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Round 20

Round Review: Round 20

Player of the Round:

Alexander Kofler

Photo courtesy of GEPA via vorarlbergernachrichten.at

Photo courtesy of GEPA via vorarlbergernachrichten.at

Kolfer was instrumental in Wolfsberger’s 1:0 victory over league rivals Austria Vienna. The 28-year old Austrian keeper, a Klagenfurt native, saved two penalties in a game that otherwise lacked much action. The first penalty was awarded with less than 10 minutes gone as Manuel Weber was adjudged to have pulled Alexander Grünwald down in the box. Grünwald stepped up to the spot but was left disappointed as Kofler’s right hand was able to claw the ball away, despite diving the wrong way. Minutes into the second half, new signing Philipp Zulechner did well to win another penalty for the Violets, with substitute Raphael Holzhauser called upon to take the penalty. Holzhauser, another new signing, didn’t give the away fans anything to cheer about though and saw his penalty also well saved by Kofler, who this time went the right way. Kühbauer couldn’t have asked anything more from his goalkeeper and with national coach Marcel Koller looking on, a cap could be on the horizon.

Goal of the Round:

Louis Ngwat-Mahop – Altach vs. Admira.

The striker from Cameroon benefitted from some great interplay down the right-wing by Patrick Salomon and Andreas Lienhart. Salomon, with his back to goal was able to control a throw-in and nutmeg Markus Lackner with a cheeky back-heel, releasing Lienhart. The wing-back, who now has 5 league assists to his name, found a free Mahop with a crisp cross and the striker side footed home his 6th of the season at the back post. You can find the highlights of the game, including this goal, here: http://www.laola1.tv/de-at/video/cashpoint-scr-altach-fc-admira-wacker-modling/298202.html.

Picture of the Round:

Grödig pitch conditions before game against Sturm Graz. (picture courtesy of: Daniel Offenbacher/Sky Sports Austria)

Grödig pitch conditions before game against Sturm Graz. (picture courtesy of: Daniel Offenbacher/Sky Sports Austria)

Controversy of the Round:

Ried boss Oliver Glasner was left frustrated and angry after Rapid Vienna were awarded three first half penalties against his side. The first penalty was the most controversial as Robert Berić went down attempting to go past Thomas Gebauer in the box. Although the referee appeared to go towards the Slovenian striker to book him for simulation, the linesman awarded the penalty. Not only this, the referee gave Gebauer a straight red card, his first in over 200 Bundesliga games, meaning back-up keeper Lorenz Höbarth with his first act had to face the penalty. Two further penalties were awarded, with Trauner being sent off for a handball on the line, despite Berić appearing offside in the build-up to the goal. The final penalty saw debutant Petar Filipovic drag down the Rapid striker needlessly. Deni Alar scored two and Berić scored the third.

Rober Berić (Rapid) & Thomas Gebauer (Ried): GEPA pictures/ Martin Hoermandinger

Rober Berić (Rapid) & Thomas Gebauer (Ried): GEPA pictures/ Martin Hoermandinger

Full results:

SK Rapid Wien 3-0 SV Ried
SC Wiener Neustadt 0-2 RB Salzburg
Rheindorf Altach 2-0 FC Admira Wacker
Wolfsberger AC 1-0 FK Austria Wien
SV Grödig P-P SK Sturm Graz.

Final Word:

Despite an awful start to the Spring season for Austria Vienna, they showed their true class when they came out of the tunnel wearing “Gute Besserung Hosi” shirts. This show of good will comes after former Violet striker Philipp Hosiner discovered kidney issues during a medical to leave Stade Rennais on loan.

Austria Vienna walk out versus Wolfsberger wearing good luck shirts for former Violet- Philipp Hosiner (picture courtesy of Austria80.at)

Austria Vienna walk out versus Wolfsberger wearing good luck shirts for former Violet- Philipp Hosiner (picture courtesy of Austria80.at)

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment as always.

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Belek

Belek Diary (Final day).

After a wonderful week in Turkey, my time was up. The weather had been unpredictable, venues had been tough to find and kick off times often moved without much notice, but like any football lover, I’d do it all again.

5pm: SV Grödig vs.  Anzhi (RUS) – Venue: Kaya Pallazo Sports Complex

The Anzhi team sheet.

The Anzhi team sheet.

1st half: After a delayed kick-off due to poor weather conditions, Michael Baur’s team finally took on a very physical Anzhi side, who now dwell in the second tier of Russian football. The game started evenly, with perhaps Grödig the slightly more aggressive. After the transfer of Yordy Reyna to Red Bull Leipzig, Sunday Emmanuel started up front, with Stefan Nutz just behind him. It was Nutz’s quality that gave Grödig the lead just before the half hour mark. The 22-year old, who had been linked with a move to Germany in this transfer window, curled a perfect free-kick into the top corner, leaving the goalkeeper motionless. Moments later, Anzhi had the chance to reply from the spot after Florian Hart was adjudged to have handballed. However, with Cican Stankovic recovering from appendix surgery, stand-in goalkeeper Pirmin Strasser kept out the penalty fantastically with an outstretched foot. Half-time, 1:0.

The teams prepare to kick off

The teams prepare to kick off

2nd half: Despite the wind picking up and the temperature plummeting, things soon boiled over when substitute Timo Brauer was taken out by Anzhi’s Amatou Moutari, who received a straight red card for the challenge. From then on, it was very much one way traffic with Grödig wasting golden opportunities as the Russian’s defence struggled to cope with the pace of Philipp Huspek and Simon Handle on the wings. It was frustrating for Baur then as time ticked down, it was Anzhi who got a late equaliser, thanks to a great strike. Grödig had next to no time to reply and the score remained 1:1 at the final whistle.

Baur handles journalist question following the 1:1 result

Baur handles journalist’s question following the 1:1 result

Following the game, Baur spoke with journalists regarding the loss of Yordy Reyna, but also on the arrival of Brazilian attacking midfielder ‘Venuto’ from FC Liefering. I was also able to speak with members of Sky Sports Austria, who were incredibly insightful as they were able to shed light on a few interesting stories occurring in the Tipico Bundesliga. Not only this they were extremely friendly and spoke very good English!

Members of the Sky Sports Austria team & myself (centre)

Members of the Sky Sports Austria team & myself (centre)

I met some great people during this trip and achieved part of my goal by gaining insight into teams around the league, I hope you also enjoyed reading and following my time in Belek. Now only 12 days until the league is back!

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