CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Tuesday, August 7, 2012
The visiting Austrianers triumphed decisively in the Viennese derby on Sunday afternoon, thanks to a one-two from Roman Kienast, and an insurance tally from Tomas Simkovic.
Terrence Boyd served a full shift up top in the stunning loss, which leaves Rapid wondering what happened to their early-season momentum.
The Violets had no trouble setting the tempo from the outset, and penetrated the Rapid half perhaps too easily throughout the affair.
By the seventh minute the hosts organized their offense thanks to Christopher Trimmel, who drove down the right side by himself and spotted Steffen Hofmann in the box on the right side. The Rapid captain swung over to the top of the box for Muhammed Ildiz, but he couldn't get a shot off.
The Green and Whites' first shot instead came two minutes later when Deni Alar fed to Christopher Drazan on the left, whose shot beamed straight into the hands of Violet keeper Heinz Lindner.
Boyd's best effort of the afternoon came three minutes later after Hoffman found the 21-year old on the run in the box. Boyd nutmegged defender Emir Dilaver, and delivered a left-footer that Lindner parried out of bounds.
Due to unseasonably warm temperatures, the referees ordered an official water break halfway through both halves.
Austria finally broke the deadlock on what should have been a routine clearance by the Rapid defense. After a Tomas Jun corner from the left, Stefan Kulovits attempted to clear from a foot from the left post, but instead allowed Manuel Ortlechner to easily pass to Kienast for the open shot at Königshofer's net. The 6'2'' forward gladly tapped with ease from a yard out for the 1-0 lead.
Seven minutes into the second period, with Rapid sitting back in the box, Austria's Markus Suttner found room on the left side for a beautiful silverplatter pass through the top of the box, but Alexander Gorgon fumbled the opportunity with yards of space in the middle. Yet, Vrsic returned from the right edge of the box to Kienast for a textbook header from the six-yard box to bring the score to 2-0.
With Austria I the driver's seat, Rapid could only rely on Königshofer, who pulled off two brilliant saves in the 61st minute after back-to-back strikes from Gorgon and Simkovic.
With a quarter-hour to play, substitute Marko Stankovic airmailed a long free kick in from the left side, which Kienast met at the back post for a simple header from the tall man. Again, Königshofer saved embarrassment for Rapid, barely stretching a glove out in time to deflect again off the post and back out into safety,
Kienast capped off his great afternoon in the 83rd minute with a sprint downfield against Mario Sonnleitner, and looked to outpace him. Instead, he slowed up, waited for support, and tapped over to the oncoming Simkovic who waltzed into the box and tapped past Königshofer with the outside of the left foot, as the Rapid faithful began streaming out of the stadium.
Just like that, Rapid slip from first to fifth in the standings after three rounds with undefeated Red Bull Salzburg alone atop, and Mattersburg, Admira, and Austria Vienna all on six points.
After Sunday's result and falling 2-1 in Novi Sad last Thursday to FK Vojvodina Novi Sad, Peter Schöttel's men will need to find solutions fast heading into this Thursday's return leg of Europa League qualification against Novi Sad.