01.05.2019 18:44
UNIQA ÖFB CUP, Team, RB Salzburg, Match report

Cup final heartbreak

If there were any empty seats at the Cup Final in Klagenfurt, they certainly weren’t in the Rapid end: A mass of travelling Green & White supporters were in attendance in the Wörthersee Stadium, looking to provide the 12th man for a Rapid side aiming to upset the odds and lift the cup against heavy favourites RB Salzburg. Boli Bolingoli had recovered in time to take his place in the starting line-up, with Didi Kühbauer otherwise picking what looked like the strongest side available to the Head Coach.

The intensity created in the stands by the fans was also clearly running through the players' veins, and Rapid got off to a flying start: A low curling effort from Thomas Murg went wide of the far post (2.), before Stefan Schwab went close as he headed a Bolingoli cross just inches wide of the near post (5.). It was a positive start from the Hütteldorfers. Dejan Ljubicic was the next to try his luck but his shot was blocked (14.), as Rapid continued to rise to the occasion, showing more desire and will than their wealthier opponents. However, unsurprisingly, Salzburg did start to get a foothold in the match, as firstly Farkas hit the netting at the near post, before Schlager tested Strebinger with a left-footed effort from the edge of the box which the Rapid stopper did well to palm away, diving to his left (28.).

The 24,000 fans in attendance - the vast majority of which were clad in Green & White - looked on as Kühbauer's side continued to press for the opener: Philipp Schobesberger had a shot blocked after a swift counter attacking move, with Mert Müldür heading wide from the resulting corner (31.). With Rapid in the ascendency, Salzburg struck against the run of play - not once, but twice: A cute one-two between Dabbur and Farkas saw the latter get in behind the defence before slotting a low shot between Strebinger's legs and into the back of the net - 0:1 (37.). Just two minutes later a ball swung in the right flank by Junozovic was met flush by Dabbur, who guided a crisp header into the near post - 2:0 (39.). It was a bitter double-blow to take into the half-time changing rooms.


The Hütteldorfers began the second period in positive fashion: A Deflected header from Max Hofmann was looping into the goal, but Salzburg keeper Walke scrambled back to tip it over the crossbar (52.). At the other end of the field, Dabbur found an alarming amount of space in the Rapid box, but Strebinger managed to get a leg to the Red Bull striker's overhead kick, with Onguene heading the rebound over (54.). Undeterred, Rapid continued to believe and to press for a way back into the match. They nearly did so via the head of Mert Müldür, but the defender's effort landed on the top of the crossbar (60.). With the game becoming stretched, Strebinger made a superb save from a vicious Gulbrandsen shot (62.). Christoph Knasmüllner and Aliou Badji came on for Ljubicic and Pavlovic respectively, as Didi Kühbauer sought to introduce some fresh legs for a final push. It looked as though a Mario Sonnleitner header had given Rapid a crucial route back into the game, but the goal was controversially chalked off for an alleged foul by Knasmüllner on Ramalho in the build-up. 

Daka broke free with just over 12 minutes to go and could’ve sealed the win for Salzburg, but he poked his shot wide when one-on-one with Strebinger (78.). Farkas received a second yellow and subsequent red after a furious verbal attack on the referee, but despite the numerical advantage, Rapid couldn't find a way through. The final was lost, as it was two years previously in the same stadium as a brave effort had seen the Hütteldorfers nonetheless come up short.



UNIQA ÖFB-Cup, Final:
RB Salzburg - SK Rapid 2:0 (2:0)
Wörthersee-Stadion, 24.200 Attendance, Ref Schüttengruber

Goals: 1:0 Farkas (37.), 2:0 Dabbur (39.);

RB Salzburg: Walke – Lainer, Ramalho, Onguene, Farkas – Samassekou – X. Schlager, Wolf (68./Minamino), Junuzovic (72./Szoboszlai), Gulbrandsen (77./Daka), Dabbur;

SK Rapid: Strebinger – Müldür, Sonnleitner (87./Ivan), Hofmann, Bolingoli – Grahovac, D. Ljubicic (65./Knasmüllner) – Murg, Schwab, Schobesberger – Pavlovic (70./Badji);

Yellow Cards: Gulbrandsen, Walke, Dabbur; Müldür, Hofmann;

Yellow Card/Red Card: Farkas (83.);