CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Monday, September 17, 2012
Admira gladly took home a point from Hanappi Stadion on Saturday, holding the Green and White hosts in a scoreless draw.
Having returned from U.S. national team duty against Jamaica, striker Terrence Boyd featured in the starting eleven, but exited after 67 fruitless minutes.
The Europa League-qualified Rapid Wien seldom looked like Austria's "Great Green and White Hope", as the visitors from the south of the Vienna waltzed in and outshot the hosts 14 to five.
In the opening minutes Admira goalie Patrick Tischler nearly dished up a gimme for Rapid, clearing out directly to Deni Alar on the right wing. Alar immediately fed to the oncoming Boyd, but the American couldn't get a full boot on the pass, and only managed to tap back to Tischler.
In the 17th minute, Admira's Marcel Sabitzer pierced the netting of Rapid keeper Lukas Königshofer, but the linesman did well to spot him in an offside position after the feed from Stefan Schwab.
Just four minutes later off a corner, Issiaka Ouedraogo nearly put the guests ahead again with a header that bounced towards the right goal-mouth, but defender Markus Katzer was there on the line to nod back away to safety.
Meanwhile Rapid struggled to develop their offense and threatened only once in the first half with a 38th-minute shot from Guido Burgstaller off a deep feed that met the side netting of Tischer's goal.
Their best chance of the game came seven minutes into the second half off a Steffen Hofmann free kick from 30 yards out on the right. The German aimed straight for Tischler, but the netminder fumbled the delivery. Rapid reworked around back to the German for another try from the top of the box that flew inches over the crossbar.
Rapid coach Peter Schöttel opted to shake up his offensive structure, bringing on Lukas Grozurek for Boyd after 67 minutes.
Six minutes later, Hofmann orchestrated another attack with a cross from the left side for Burgstaller on the right side of the box, but Grozurek intervened in the box and tapped forward anyway to intended receiver. Having shifted speed and direction, Burgstaller attempted to turn the ball into the net but only managed to lift it over the bar from a tight angle.
With the forgettable result, Rapid luckily remain in second with 16, since third place Salzburg also mustered only a draw at home against Ried.
Terrence Boyd and his teammates look ahead to Thursday's big clash in their Europa League opener against Rosenborg BK, before figuring out how to get their league life back on track at SV Ried next Sunday.