RECAP: WEEKEND AUSTRIAN ACTION
Shawn Barry helped LASK Linz score a shut-out win over first-place Mattersburg in Erste Liga action while both Conor O'Brien and Keith Cardona had the weekend off.
LASK Linz 1 - 0 SV Mattersburg
Shawn Barry played the full 90 minutes in the Linz back line on Friday evening as an injury-time goal moved towards the team towards top of the Erste Liga standings against SV Mattersburg.
The former Virginia Cavalier played the full game in the center of the defense for the hosts, who extended their unbeaten run to start the season to four games.
The teams traded early lucky chances, albeit without any reward, with Mattersburg striker Thorsten Röcher reacting quickly to put a shot on frame in the third minute, and Radovan Vujanović doing the same for the hosts in the 16th.
The remainder of the first half saw a continuation of theme: both teams having their scattered opportunities but failing to capitalize.
Following the break, Linz were close to taking the lead after a direct free kick from Harun Erbek forced Mattersburg Markus Kuster into a fine save.
With the game looking headed to a scoreless draw at the end of regulation, the hosts did finally break through for the winner in the third minute of injury time. Daniel Kerschbaumer did fine work to maintain possession on the right, and hit in a low cross to the middle which was flicked over to the onrushing Florian Templ for a deft tap-in.
With the win, Barry and Linz end the weekend's round of games in a three-way tie for first place with vanquished Mattersburg and FC Liefering.
They have a quick turnaround, with their next game taking place on Monday at SKN St. Pölten.
Conor O'Brien is still awaiting approval of his Austrian work permit, and was a spectator as SC Wiener Neustadt finally earned their first points of the season on Saturday with a 2-2 home draw against local rivals Austria Wien. O'Brien will likely be available to take place in the team's next outing, a Saturday afternoon visit to SV Gröding.
Keith Cardona and FC Liefering had the weekend off due to scheduling, and will be back in action on Friday when they host winless Kapfenberger SV.