a year after we were beaten by sturm graz late on in the final, our boys were able to win the trophy again today in the competition's 100th edition - and celebrate the club's sixth cup win a year after a run of four cup wins in a row ended.
Under a perfect sky for football and in front of an attendance fit for a final, it was Rapid who made a slightly better start and fired the first two shots on goal in the opening stages via Thomas Murg and Stefan Schwab, only to miss narrowly. In the 11th minute of play, Patrick Farkas, who replaced Andreas Ulmer as our left-back today, twisted his way skilfully past Mert Müldür in the penalty area with a quick attack on the left, only for his shot to hit the side netting. After that the precision was lacking for both teams in the final third somewhat, as neither side was able to break through the opposition defence. In the 29th minute, Munas Dabbur did charge through and cut the ball back to Xaver Schlager on the edge of the penalty area, who was denied when in full stride by the Rapid goalkeeper Richard Strebinger. Philipp Schobesberger got into a threatening position shortly after that but took a fraction too long, and Jerome Onguene was able to get a boot in front of him as he tried to shoot. The breakthrough would come in the 37th minute though - with a double strike from our boys. Firstly, Patrick Farkas hit the ball through the legs of Rapid goalkeeper Richard Strebinger (37'), while two minutes later Munas Dabbur converted a cross from Zlatko Junuzovic with a header to put us into a 2-0 lead (39'). Moments later we almost had a third goal as Fredrik Gulbrandsen's lob missed the Rapid goal by a fraction. We therefore went into the half-time break with a deserved 2-0 lead.
The game was similarly brisk as it restarted, with the start of the second half almost seeing us go 3-0 up. Firstly, Richard Strebinger scrambled a last-gasp clearance behind from a perfect scissor kick from Munas Dabbur (54'), before a header from Jerome Onguene flew a fraction past the top corner of the goal frame (55'). Around the hour mark, Mert Müldür had the biggest chance for Rapid so far with a header that rattled the crossbar, before Fredrik Gulbrandsen was denied by the Green and Whites' goalkeeper shortly after with a fierce drive. The Viennese thought they had something to celebrate at the start of the so-called Rapid quarter-of-an-hour, but a strike from Mario Sonnleitner was disallowed by the referee, Manuel Schüttengruber, due to a foul from Knasmüllner on Andre Ramalho. In the 79th minute, Patson Daka missed a chance to seal it with his first piece of action after being substituted on, as he sent the ball just wide of the target when one-on-one with the Rapid goalie. The final stages were pretty hectic, with Patrick Farkas seeing a second yellow card for intervening when Patson Daka was clearly fouled and therefore facing his marching orders (82'). Being down to ten men had no change on our play as we held on comfortably to win and deservedly lift the cup.
We rose to a cup fight today. That's what we planned to do, and the boys went about it well. It was a difficult and even encounter to being with. If you can go two up, that helps you of course. We battled right to the end and we are now absolutely delighted. I am pleased for the club, the fans and the team to win the cup. We have worked hard for it.
Winning titles is the greatest thing in football. You work every single day for that. It was a very intensive match that was tough to get into. The decisive factor was Farki's goal. After that it was a different match.
It was a very difficult match today. Taking our chances in the first half made the difference, even though we were under pressure again at the end. It definitely wasn't an undeserved win today. It's important that the cup is coming home again.
These are the kind of stories that can happen in football. Andi suffered an injury in the run-up to the game, unfortunately, and I got the chance from the coach despite only playing ten minutes of football against WAC in the past year. I just wanted to show everyone that I'm a part of this team.
Minamino for Wolf (67'), Szoboszlai for Junuzovic (72'), Daka for Gulbrandsen (77')
Farkas (45+3' foul), Gulbrandsen (74' unsporting behaviour), Dabbur (90+4' unsporting behaviour)
second yellow card
Farkas (82' dissent)
Not available for action
Van der Werff (knee), Pongracic (thigh), Ulmer (calf)