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"The victory was more than deserved"

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Collective jubilation reigned at LASK after the last-minute victory on Wednesday evening in Hartberg. The 2-1 triumph in the 28th round of the ADMIRAL Bundesliga in Styria was the first win for the athletes over TSV after eleven consecutive winless games – and a hugely important one at that.

The patience within the ranks of the black and whites paid off with the goal, later deemed an own goal, in the 93rd minute (see match report). For the first time since the 5-1 victory in June 2020, LASK took three points from the southeast of Styria. Simultaneously, the Linz team celebrated their first away win in the championship group since the 4-0 victory in Wolfsberg in May 2021. The jubilation was emotional, especially since the Upper Austrians not only successfully avenged themselves with the win but also increased their lead over Hartberg to six points. "It was a scrum, and then it went into the goal," said captain Philipp Ziereis, to whom the goal was initially credited, about the game-deciding moment. "The important thing was that it went in," grinned our number five.

Captain Philipp Ziereis at least had his legs involved in the winning goal.

Strong reaction after falling behind

Not only the result but also the manner of performance left the protagonists in black and white satisfied. Especially in the second half, the athletes exerted significant pressure at times and created numerous high-quality opportunities. Additionally, adjustments in pressing tactics helped disrupt Hartberg's continuous build-up play more frequently. "The coach prepared us well; we were more aggressive off the ball and also showed more courage with the ball. Because of the second half, we deserved to win," said midfield engine Sascha Horvath.

Ziereis echoed similar sentiments, highlighting the team's reaction to falling behind after 20 minutes. Before halftime, Florian Flecker scored the equalizer against his former club for the second time in three days. "We didn't get nervous even though we suffered another setback. Considering the chances and the second half, the victory was more than deserved," emphasized Ziereis, who formed the central defense alongside Andres Andrade in the back four.

Sascha Horvath (left) once again served as an indefatigable driving force in midfield.

With confidence into the top match against Rapid

However, the 31-year-old will be absent on Sunday against Rapid (secure your tickets now) due to his fifth yellow card suspension. "It doesn't matter at all; the next one will step in," Ziereis expressed full confidence in his teammates. "In the championship round, it's one big game after another. These are the most exciting matches. We can go in with confidence, but we also know that we need to remain humble and consistently perform."

With another home win against the Hütteldorfers, they could take an important step forward in the fight for third place. "We will fight for 90 minutes and give it our all to keep the three points with us. If we get them, then things will look really good," Horvath and his teammates are determined to follow up in the Raiffeisen Arena on Sunday.

LASK also aims to celebrate again in Sunday's home game against Rapid.

Highlights HTB - ASK

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