SK Rapid bends Dinamo Zagreb 2-1 on the third match day of the Europa League and keeps the chance of a potential promotion alive.
Rapid Vienna showed the hoped-for reaction to recent mixed results on Thursday. A lot was right with the Hütteldorfer: speed, commitment, wit. Dinamo Zagreb became dangerous with needle pricks, but found it difficult to build up the game, because the pressing of the Viennese had an effect.
And Dietmar Kühbauer’s men showed callousness in their own offensive game. Marco Grüll put Rapid in the lead after nine minutes – Mislav Orsic equalized for Dinamo after 24 minutes. Maximilian Hofmann scored the decisive goal after just 34 minutes. A hit that should be enough for victory.
The bottom line is an immensely important victory for Rapid. Kühbauer’s team offered an almost perfect defensive performance in the second round, Zagreb hardly developed, the Viennese pressing was too aggressive for that. At the front, the Hütteldorfer demonstrated their efficiency, in a fast-paced first half they set the course for victory. In the second half, the Croatians had more of the game, but the Viennese defense held up.
Kühbauer: “… then it would have been eaten”
“If we hadn’t won, it would have been eaten. With the win we showed that we want to stick with it. We didn’t let the equalizer bother us, we deserved to win,” said Kühbauer after the final whistle ORF.
“That was also important for the head. The boys played a really good game, but it was hard work. You could see that the boys wanted,” said Kühbauer.
Rapid will now visit Hartberg on Sunday, Dinamo will receive Istra 1961 Pula on the same day. On the next Europa League matchday, both teams will meet for the second leg in Zagreb (November 4, 9 p.m.).
The table in group H
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