CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Saturday, October 23, 2010
The Black and Golds narrowed the gap on the top spot in Salzburg on Friday night with goals from Plymouth, Michigan-born Josh Gatt and Orhan Ademi.
The 19 year-old Gatt entered as a second-half sub, recorded 33 minutes of action, and scored in the 80th minute in Untersberg Arena.
Neither squad was able to break the ice over the opening quarter-hour until the hosts threatened in the 20th minute with a drive by Herwig Drechsel. From the midfield Matthias Hattenberger slotted through for the 37 year-old, sending him off to the races for an effort that dribbled well left of Martin Kobras's net.
The Blue-and-Whites struck again in the 29th minute after a Peter Riedl long ball from the left side took a Hattenberger header in the box and fell to Philipp Zulechner. The 20-year-old Austrian did well to tap once into the air, spin and fire at the post, but Kobras was there to claw it around the post.
A minute before the break, the visitors cried foul after Harald Unverdorben went to the ground in the box after contact with Grödig's Maximilian Karner. Referee Tanja Schett saw no foul and whistled for play to continue.
Altach came out of the gates on fire and found the opener within minutes. Out on the left side Gernot Suppan threaded a ball through to Unverdorben entering the box for a left-footed chip into traffic. Standing five yards from the net, Swissman Orhan Ademi was there to nod past Martin Eisl for his seventh tally of the season and the 1-0 lead.
After 67 minutes Altach skipper Adi Hütter brought on Gatt for the Swiss scorer, setting up the American's first goal in the Austrian Erste Liga.
Altach's second goal came after a 3-on-4 break, with Gatt on the receiving end. After a 50-yard sprint and feed from Daniel Schütz, midfielder Matthias Hopfer looked for room at the top of the box and returned to Schütz, who spotted the American with room on the left side. The Michgan Wolves Academy produuct made no mistake, ousting a defender and slotting through for the 2-0 lead.
With the win, the Vorarlbergers sit in second with 32 points and plenty of elbow room, slimming the margin from the top to six after Trenkwalder Admira's loss at Austria Lustenau. Meanwhile, Grödig hover in seventh in the ten-team standings.
Adi Hütter's men return to the west of Austria for a vital Monday night showdown with third-place RZ WAC/St. Andrä.