UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE MATCHDAY 2: TOULOUSE 1-0 LASK
LASK were left to rue one small defensive lapse, as well as a couple of top chances which went over the bar as they fell agonisingly short of getting a result in Toulouse.
In LASK’s second game of Group E they would take the role of the underdogs once again, whilst looking to produce a decent performance regardless, just as they had managed in the opening defeat to Liverpool. In the first ten minutes at Stadium de Toulouse the Ligue 1 side boasted 70% of the possession, yet LASK’s defence were comfortably able to repel a series of attempted crosses from the flanks. When the Black & Whites got forward themselves, Usor’s piledriver from outside the area was quickly closed down in the 9th minute, and shortly after, Žulj played a trademark quick pass into Ljubičić to release him in the area, but defenders were able to force the striker away from goal.
That signalled the start of a good spell for LASK, exemplified by Bello’s pressure which forced a defensive back pass to fall well short on its way towards Toulouse keeper Restes. He dived down at full-stretch to make a vital save at the feet of LASK’s American forward, but curiously no indirect free kick was awarded, despite the handling of a deliberate pass back. The next setback would be a bigger one, though, as Andrade tackled Dallinga in the penalty area, only to see the ball pop out kindly for the on-rushing Suazo, who fired in from close range with Toulouse’s first real chance of the game just past the half-hour mark. In response, LASK could only muster an Usor shot over the top as the hosts managed to cram the defensive third with purple and white shirts almost at all times, and Dallinga flicked a near post effort off target at the other end shortly before the first 45 minutes were up.
LASK aim a little too high
Only a few minutes after the restart, Ljubičić got on the ball in the area with more room than at any point before the break, yet the offside flag was raised as he clipped the ball past the keeper. The Linzers were by now looking far more dangerous in attack, and with ten minutes of the second half played, it was the number 9 who drew a smart save from the home stopper with a low, curling strike, and a backpedalling Usor could only turn the rebound up and over from six yards. Ljubičić himself would then fire agonisingly over the bar from the same position with the goal at his mercy following a pin-point cross, and despite a much stronger showing, LASK couldn’t get the ball into the net.
Toulouse had their first look at goal since the restart when Dallinga’s header was expertly turned away by Lawal on 69 minutes, and ten minutes later he dived across to his left to cover a thunderous volley from substitute Genreau, but that flew wide, and LASK still edged the shot count by 11 to 10 with the game heading into the closing stages. Koné came up millimetres short in a foot race to reach the ball before the keeper in stoppage time, but ultimately just one shot on target was not enough to take home a point, despite a performance that kept Toulouse quiet for most of the 97 minutes, and produced enough chances to perhaps claim at least a draw on another day.
Toulouse FC: Restes; Suazo, Diarra, Nicolaisen, Desler; César (Magri, 61’), Cásseres, Sierro ©, Dönnum (Begraoui, 77’); Dallinga (Genreau, 77’), Schmidt (Kamanzi, 90’)
Subs: Dominguez, Kamanzi, Mawissa, Keben, Genreau, Bangré, Begraoui, Magri, Skyttä
Yellow cards: Suazo (36’), Diarra (39’), Schmidt (40’), Dealer (65’), Cásseres (79’)
Goals: Suazo (31’)
LASK: Lawal; Andrade, Ziereis, Talovierov (Mustapha, 88’); Bello (Ba, 88’), Ljubić, Jovičić (Darboe, 69’), Flecker; Ljubičić (Koné, 69’), Žulj ©, Usor (Havel, 59’)
Subs: Siebenhandl, Jungwirth, Koné, Balić, Stojković, Mustapha, Havel, Ba, Goiginger, Darboe
Yellow cards: Jovičić (56’), Darboe (76’), Ljubić (89’)
Author: The Other Bundesliga
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