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LASK lost their opening game of the Championship Round as they were beaten 2-0 by surprise package WSG Tirol. The Black & Whites started the game with ferocious intensity and momentum but their penalty miss on the stroke of half-time proved costly as a swashbuckling WSG struck twice after the interval to claim the three points.
Following the halving of the points, third-placed LASK went into this clash with a five-point cushion over sixth-placed WSG Tirol. The Tyroleans, who were without a home win in four league games, lined up in their usual 4-4-2 formation with Baden Frederiksen and Dedic leading the line. Meanwhile the Black & Whites, unbeaten in six away matches, took to the field in their trademark 3-4-3 system. There were two changes from the team that had lost 1-0 to Salzburg last time out, with Filipovic and Michorl replacing Andrade and Madsen.
It was Dominik Thalhammer’s charges who made the brighter start to this match, playing their usual high-pressing game and creating half-chances for Balic and Eggestein in the opening three minutes. Both times they were denied by WSG’s veteran keeper Oswald, who then made a crucial reaction save to turn Renner’s 15th-minute thunderbolt from the left of the box onto the crossbar as LASK heaped the pressure on their underdog opponents.
It was not until the midway point of the first period that WSG first began to gain something of a foothold in the game and venture forward. Their first proper chance came in the 35th minute when Dedic latched onto a long ball downfield but, under pressure from Trauner, the Slovenian hurried his effort and blasted over the bar. The hosts went even closer three minutes later as Baden Frederiksen threaded the ball through to Anselm, on loan from LASK, but his effort was turned behind for a corner by Schlager.
Just as WSG looked likely to make the breakthrough at any moment, LASK were awarded a penalty. Eggestein chipped a lovely ball into the box from the left and Goiginger cleverly allowed the ball to run across his body, only to be hauled to the ground by Oswald just as he prepared to pull the trigger. Wiesinger took the ensuing spot-kick but side-footed the ball well wide and the half-time whistle sounded shortly afterwards with the score still goalless.
LASK were made to pay for that profligacy just three minutes after the interval as WSG took the lead. Naschberger drove forward and fed Dedic, who calmly slotted the ball through Schlager’s legs and into the back of the net to open the scoring. WSG went close again eight minutes later when Anselm struck the woodwork with a lovely effort that drew prolonged applause from the home bench, but Rogelj went one better on the hour-mark and rounded off a lovely move to make it 2-0 and leave LASK with a mountain to climb.
With his team under the cosh, Thalhammer made a double substitution and brought on Madsen and Andrade in place of Michorl and Filipovic. But it was WSG who came closest to the next goal in the 71st minute when Dedic cleverly dummied the ball for Rogelj, whose curling effort sailed agonisingly wide. Another double substitution followed minutes later, as Potzmann and Reiter replaced Renner and Eggestein. Yet LASK never really threatened in the final stages and WSG again went close to a third when substitute Rieder struck the post in stoppage time.
By Lee Wingate from The Other Bundesliga (@OtherBundesliga)
WSG Tirol: Oswald; Koch, Behounek, Gugganig, Schnegg; Rogelj (Buchacher 89‘), Naschberger (Toplitsch 89‘), Celic, Anselm (Smith 82‘); Dedic (Pranter 82‘), Baden Frederiksen (Rieder 73‘)
Goals: Dedic 48‘, Rogelj 59‘
Subs: Ozegovic, Buchacher, Hager, Pranter, Smith, Toplitsch, Rieder
LASK: Schlager; Wiesinger, Trauner, Filipovic (Andrade 66‘); Ranftl, Michorl (Madsen 66‘), Holland, Renner (Potzmann 79‘); Goiginger, Eggestein (Reiter 79‘), Balic
Subs: Gebauer, Ramsebner, Andrade, Madsen, Potzmann, Grgic, Reiter