Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Austria May 2016

Three games in Austria including a visit to the home of Mozart and a Rapid away match.

Segovia is instrumental.

6th May 2016  St Polten 2 KSV1919 1  Austrian 1st League   2,582

From Vienna by train to sunny St Polten for this second level encounter.

The home side has a neat modern stadium with plenty on offer in the way of hospitality.
Certainly those fortified by the refreshments (not your correspondent I might add, until later)
particularly enjoyed the second half.

Before that St P missed a range of chances in what was an open game although of moderate quality.
For their part KSV should have had a penalty when Dos Santos, after eluding the goalie, found his way blocked by a home defender’s handball.
With negligible away fans there was no outcry and the officials failed to spot it.

Soon after the interval St Polten went ahead when Hartl broke down the right and his cross was well controlled and shot in by Spanish striker and top scorer Daniel Segovia.

It seemed St P were well in control.

But KSV had their say as a penalty was awarded for a rash challenge and Marco Perchtold calmly stepped up to slot home the spot kick for a somewhat undeserved equaliser.
Those in hospitality almost choked on their chicken legs.

However with five minutes remaining Senegal wide-man Cheikhou Dieng, who had a lively match, delivered a free kick to the far post and Segovia rose highest to head home the winner.
Cue much noise and happy campers.

The win (and with LASK losing) certainly enhanced St Polten’s challenge for promotion to the Bundesliga.
I couldn’t resist the chicken and the vino before strolling back to my apartment near the Traisenpark on a nicely mild evening.

Sturm and Draw.

7th May  Red Bull Salzburg 1 Sturm Graz 1  Bundesliga  11,327 (c. 500 away)

From chicken wings to a drink that gives you wings.

Not that the home side particularly need much fortification as a draw was enough for them to clinch another Austrian title.
Although the home ultras did their best it seemed a slightly low key celebration compared to those in (say) Leicester.

Sturm, also well supported by their ultras, began well and clipped the bar early on.

But then RB took over and Norwegian Valon Berisha cracked in a fine shot on 17 minutes.
A couple of times later the home midfield setup reserve striker Yordy Reyna but he failed to capitalise.

It did seem that RB missed league top scorer Jonathan Soriano.
And one goal was not quite enough for the win as defender Miranda allowed Nigerian Bright Edomwonyi to break forward and he took his chance to deliver the leveller.

Substitute Hee did go close to getting the winner for RB but in the end a draw was adequate.

I took the bus back to the centre and had some vino as a nightcap.

Rapid in control.

8th May  Mattersburg 0 Rapid Vienna 2  Bundesliga  4,500 (c. 900 away)

A cost effective way to get from Salzburg to Vienna is via the private rail company Westbahn and that is the method I chose.
From Vienna I travelled on to Wiener Neustadt and then Mattersburg.

On the way my companions included some of the Rapid ultras, well stocked with beer.

Mattersburg was fairly sleepy and without those visitors in green & white (or black in the case of the ultras) it would have been nearly comatose on this Sunday afternoon.

Your correspondent enjoyed a spritzer and some ice cream in the sunshine before the match.

Inside you see a quirky ground - grass bank at one end, large away terrace at the other plus some semi-temporary seating along one side + camera towers.

The stars of the show were the Rapid ultras who not only brought beer but a whole load of flares and other paraphernalia.
So we saw a rich display of multicoloured smoke and choreo.
Including a picture of an old stand, or was it an image from the new stadium ?

Incidentally I passed the new Rapid ground on the train earlier.
Apparently the opening game is likely to be against Chelsea.

Back to the game and on the field the star was the Rapid full back Mario Pavelic who drove in a great right footer from about 30 yards early in the first period.
Mario tried three or four other attempts but none matched that opener.

But Rapid dominated possession and left Mattersburg with just the odd chance (including a nice break by Prietl)
The second placed visitors should have scored more against their lowly opponents.

However Mattersburg had more opportunities in the second half especially with headed chances and one cross that Patrick Burger might have converted.

But any hopes of a late equaliser were doused when sub Philipp Prosenik was released and he neatly chipped Borenitsch in the home goal for the clincher.

Back at the station I joined the ultras, some of whom were buying Jagermeister to boost their alcohol intake.

Red wine was my choice later in the evening.

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