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Raiffeisen Arena, 12th September 2021
LASK fell to a late defeat at the hands of Austria Vienna, as goals from Eric Martel and Noah Ohio needed VAR confirmation before giving the guests the three points in Pasching. LASK had turned the game around after a difficult start, but missed chances proved costly in a match that both teams were desperate to win.
Turning performances into points was the express aim of Head coach Dominik Thalhammer, as LASK returned to Bundesliga action bolstered by some new additions to the squad. Felix Luckeneder and Sascha Horvath, the fresh faces signed during the international break, went straight into the starting line up as part of a 3-4-2-1 formation, whilst Lukas Grgic and Christoph Monschein returned to the bench after injury-related absences. Austria Vienna were the guests in Pasching on Sunday, and although they came into the game bottom of the table, recent draws with Rapid Vienna & Sturm Graz had hinted that they were finding form.
The opening minutes of the game saw the visitors come flying out of the blocks. Djuricin was played through one-on-one after four minutes, and it was fortunate for LASK that he slid the ball wide of Alexander Schlager’s goal. Jukic had a shot brilliantly blocked by Marvin Potzmann two minutes later, and the Violets then had a double chance as a corner ball fell to Schoissengeyr; he fired goalwards from close range and had to be denied by a fine Schlager save, before the rebound went sky high from six yards.
The chances didn’t stop there for Austria, as LASK struggled to get a foothold in the game and were coming out second-best in the majority of the challenges. Schlager tipped a shot round the post with the offside flag up after thirteen minutes, and yet replays suggested that VAR would have awarded Austria the goal had the stop not been made.
If the initial quarter of an hour posed several questions of the hosts, they began to answer them as the half wore on. First, Thomas Goiginger combined well with Florian Flecker down the right, and once his chipped cross was headed back, Potzmann could only volley wide as the clock neared the half-hour mark. Five minutes before the break, another move down the same flank left Hyun-Seok Hong with the ball on the edge of the box; he looked up and curled a shot towards the far post, and it took an impressive diving parry from Austria keeper Pentz to keep the scores level at half time.
After the break it was LASK’s turn to start strongly, as the ball occupied the Austria Vienna area for much of the first few minutes. A number of attacks ended with shots off target, and turning possession into concrete scoring chances inside the box was proving tough for both teams, yet the control of the game was now with the hosts. Hong got into a good position ten minutes after the restart but headed wide, and then with 65 minutes gone, a Peter Michorl free kick was played directly in towards Luckeneder, who also failed to test Pentz with his headed effort.
With the teams beginning to even out towards the end, substitutions mixed things up, and although Mamoudou Karamoko made LASK’s attack more dangerous, it was the guests who found the opening goal. A corner ball was headed away by James Holland, and in a stroke of fortune for Austria, the clearance rebounded off Martel and set him up for a tap-in. VAR had a look for handball, but with no decisive pictures to confirm the heavy suspicions, the goal eventually stood.
That left LASK with just over ten minutes to respond, and with players pouring forward, conditions were ideal for the away team on the break. The pace of Noah Ohio led to the ball going in for Austria again after a direct run and finish on 89 minutes, but this one was ruled out after another VAR check. The home team were then just inches away from an equaliser in injury time, yet Goiginger slid his shot from the right of the area just past the far post, with Karamoko in position for a square ball instead.
LASK were then made to pay, as once again Ohio’s pace allowed him to burst forward and slot in from an unselfish Huskovic pass on the counter. Austria had a two-goal cushion after 95 minutes, and unsurprisingly, that was that. An impressive run of results against the Violets has now come to an end for the Linzers, and despite overcoming a tough early phase, LASK will look back on the missed chances and feel that things could have ended differently in this one.
By Tom Middler from The Other Bundesliga (@OtherBundesliga)
LASK: Schlager; Luckeneder, Holland, Boller; Potzmann, Michorl, Hong (Grgic 69’), Flecker; Horvath (Nakamura 78’), Goiginger; Balic (Karamoko 58’)
Subs: Gebauer, Maresic, Renner, Grgic, Karamoko, Monschein, Nakamura
FK Austria Wien: Pentz; Suttner, Schoissengeyr, Mühl, Handl, Ivkic (Braunöder); Fischer; Demaku, Jukic (Huskovic 45’); Martel; Djuricin (Ohio 72’)
Subs: Helac, Braunöder, Bejic, Grünwald, Keles, Ohio, Huskovic
Goals: Martel 78’, Ohio 90’+5