after the draining UEFA Europa League clash on thursday against RB Leipzig, our boys found it tough at times against a very plucky altach team and had to work hard to take a 1-0 win today.
Our boys started the game with their usual high pressing and put Altach under pressure early. It was the visitors, however, who tried to make a breakthrough in the opening minutes through brave quick breaks – they weren't able to get any shots away early on though. The first shots of the game came a little later for us, but an effort hit too centrally by Takumi Minamino as well as a shot from distance from Munas Dabbur failed to trouble Altach goalkeeper Martin Kobras. In the 18th minute of play, Andre Ramalho played a perfect long ball from his own half, which our Japanese attacker struck on the volley and beat Martin Kobras in spectacular style to make it 1-0 to our boys. By the time of the goal we were dictating the play at will, allowing the ball to circulate well and pushing Altach right back continually, without any further big chances coming. With our visitors rarely able to get close to our target, we took our 1-0 lead into the half-time break.
After the restart, it was the visitors who had the first attack of note, and this could have troubled us. Altach launched a quick move down the right side, and Christian Gebauer cut the ball back to Kristijan Dobras, who took aim from a tight angle. Cican Stankovic kept our boys in front though thanks to a perfect save with his boot (49'). Four minutes later, Diadie Samassekou lobbed the ball up to Takumi Minamino, who selflessly laid it off for Munas Dabbur, who smashed the ball over. After that, Grabherr's side were much more courageous, operating a high press as well and getting opportunities that they missed too easily or were denied by our dependable shotstopper Cican Stankovic. We also got a few opportunities in the second half, but were unable to make them count and were therefore unable to extend our lead. The hard-fought match therefore ended in a narrow but not undeserved 1-0 win.
I think 1-0 is a very close result. It shows that it was a close match on the whole. We started well and deservedly took the lead. We had the game really well under control for phases and we had our opportunities too. We nonetheless had to continually watch out for dangerous transitions from Altach. In the second half, Altach had a huge chance to equalise, which Cican saved superbly. All in all, you could probably notice that we were lacking a little energy. The boys fought though to hold onto the lead to the end and take an important, if close, win.
It was definitely a hard-fought win today. After the difficult match on Thursday, it was another difficult game. Altach were set up well, have plenty of quality too and made things very tough for us. We have to be satisfied with the 1-0 win.
Wolf for Prevljak (66'), Szoboszlai for Mwepu (81'), Gulbrandsen for Dabbur (87')
Ramalho (74' foul)
Not available for action
Van der Werff, Haidara (both knee), Ludewig (consequences of concussion) and Yabo (calf)