WAC celebrated a close 2-1 away win against SK Sturm Graz in the 18th round of the Bundesliga and thus made a big step towards the championship group. Dario Vizinger scored the winning goal in the 90th minute to make it 2-1 for the Carinthians. Sturm had to play outnumbered from the 35th minute after Siebenhandl had seen red because of an emergency brake against Joveljic.
WAC takes the lead according to the standard, Siebenhandl flies off, Sturm compensates
The Wolfsbergers were a bit more active and agile at the beginning of the game. After just 30 seconds Joveljic screwed himself up, but his header went over the Graz goal (1st). Shortly afterwards, Siebenhandl had to intervene with a Vizinger shot (3rd). The Carinthians acted bravely, attacked Sturm early and switched quickly. However, Ferdinand Feldhofer had to make an early change because Sven Sprangler was injured. Youngster Kai Stratznig took his place (15th).
Subsequently, however, very little progress was made for both teams. So a standard situation had to provide a remedy: Dario Vizinger circled a free kick into the penalty area, where Dominik Baumgartner came quite unrestricted to the header and placed it in the goal – 0: 1 (28th). It was the fourth goal of the season for the Carinthian central defender.
In the 35th minute, the Graz team weakened themselves – as they did a month ago in Wolfsberg. Jörg Siebenhandl rushed out of his goal a little too impetuously when the guests counterattacked and hit Joveljic on the thigh. After Joveljic was up and away, Referee Hameter shows the storm keeper red (35th). Tobias Schützenauer then came into play for Amadou Dante.
The following free kick brought nothing.
Shortly before the break, the Styrians managed to equalize: Jantscher brought a corner from the right into the penalty area, where Ljubic aimed the far corner and sunk the low shot perfectly into the goal – 1: 1 (43.).
Vizinger shoots the WAC late to victory
Immediately after the break, the decimated Grazers became dangerous again: Stefan Hierländer pulled away from the edge of the penalty area, but Kofler stretched and turned the ball over the goal (46th). Shortly afterwards, Tobias Schützenauer also had to intervene for the first time:
The storm keeper was on hand for a Taferner shot (51st).
As the game continued, however, both teams largely neutralized each other. Goal chances were meanwhile absolutely in short supply. In the 69th minute, the home side had a top chance to make it 2-1, but Alexander Kofler was able to defuse a well-placed shot from Hierländer. On the other hand, the substitute Liendl pulled volley, but shot just over it (74th).
In the final phase, the Wolfsberger increased the pace again and were rewarded for it: An imaginary shot by Liendl mutated into the perfect template for Dario Vizinger, who sank the leather dry in the far corner – 1: 2 (90th).
Tipico Bundesliga, 18th round
SK Sturm Graz – RZ Pellets WAC 1:2 (1:1)
Merkur Arena, Graz; 0 viewers; SR Hameter
Live-Ticker Sturm Graz – WAC
Tore: Ljubic (43.) bzw. Baumgartner (28th), Vizinger (90th)
Sturm: Siebenhandl – Gazibegovic, Nemeth, Wüthrich, Dante (38./Schützenauer) – Ljubic – Hierländer, Kuen – Kiteishvili (66./Jäger) – Balaj (63./Yeboah), Jantscher
WAC: Kofler – Novak, Baumgartner, Henriksson – Pavelic (71./Dieng), Sprangler (15./Stratznig, 55./Liendl), Taferner, Giorbelidze (71./Scherzer) – Vizinger – Joveljic, Röcher
yellow cards: Stratznig (42nd), Henriksson (47th), Kofler (78th)
Rot: Siebenhandl (35.)
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Written by Daniel Ringsmuth; Photo: Gerhard Pulsinger