Our side beat plucky newly promoted Ried 3-1 today under some torrential rain to maintain their 100% record for the new season.
Our side made seven changes from the team that won in Israel on Tuesday as they faced a courageous Ried side, who did not shirk the encounter in the slightest and had their first decent chance after five minutes. Grüll cracked a shot on target from long range and Cican Stankovic was able to save with a great reflex save.
After that our boys were able to take charge and press forward. Sekou Koita forced Ried goalie Sahin-Radlinger into making a strong save (9'), before Luka Sucic on his first start (15') and a Jerome Onguene with his head (17') provided our next warning shots. While Ried were continuing to defend compactly and kept us at bay, the opportunities continued to come for our side.
Mergim Berisha went the closest to giving us the lead as Albert Vallci played a great ball to the far post, but he was unable to turn it in from short range (28'). Andreas Ulmer and Sekou Koita had a double chance after 32 minutes, but neither they nor Sekou Koita were able to score - the latter hitting the side netting from a tight angle after a ball across by Mergim Berisha (33'). In the final minutes of the first half we increased the pressure even more and virtually on the stroke of half-time we got a deserved lead. After Mergim Berisha had hit the post (41'), he finally found the net. The German U21 international converted calmly inside the far post from an Ulmer pass to make it 1-0.
Our team were buzzing again after the restart and soon made it 2-0. Again it came from Mergim Berisha, who was suddenly one-on-one with the Ried goalkeeper after a quick attack and wasted no time before firing in (53'). As the game went on, Andreas Ulmer & Co continued to control the game and rarely let up at all. Ried attacked on the break whenever they had a chance though, and in the 69th minute Max Wöber had to fly in to block Paintsil from shooting in the box following a long ball.
Jesse Marsch brought some reinforcements on for the final stages, and injected some freshness into the game. Majeed Ashimeru (77'), Andreas Ulmer (78') and Dominik Szoboszlai (81') all had efforts saved by Sahin-Radlinger before Ried pulled a goal back totally against the run of play to make for a tense end. Grubeck seized on a gap in our defence to play it through to Wießmeier to chip in for 1-2 (83')
Our boys didn't show any real nerves though and held their own well while Ried pushed to complete an unlikely comeback. We had a chance for a third goal via Karim Adeyemi but the youngster headed a fraction wide (85'), while Cican Stankovic denied Grüll at the other end (90+4') with a vital save before we made it 3-1 with our last attack. Patson Daka completed a quick break with his usual clinical style and therefore scored for the third consecutive Austrian Bundesliga match.
It wasn't our greatest performance The opponents played well and defended deep, but we were prepared for that. In the end we have to be happy as they are three important points. We rested a few players, and that has done them good. We will analyse the match, of course, and we'll be ready for Wednesday.
I'm pleased of course to be able to help the team by scoring two goals. I am more happy though that the team won again. That is much more important. We need to keep on playing this intensively and getting the basics right.
Szoboszlai for Okafor (63'), Daka for Koita (63'), Kristensen for Wöber (73'), Adeyemi for Berisha (73'), Farkas for Ulmer (83')
Camara (47' foul), Kristensen (90+1' unsporting behaviour)
Junuzovic (thigh), Solet (lack of training), Ramalho (suspended)