That was a successful start to a packed few weeks of huge fixtures! Our boys saw off SKN St. Pölten 3-0 today to make the third round of the cup.
Our side got their teeth right into the second round of the UNIQA ÖFB Cup today. With plenty of Austrian eyes on the start of the competitive ski season, Zlatko Junuzovic slalomed through the St. Pölten defence but was stopped in the area. After eleven minutes of play, Sekou Koita picked out his buddy Dominik Szoboszlai in some style, but the Hungarian's attempt from a tight angle was saved well by Gremsl in goal. The hosts then gave us a wake-up call with a dangerous attack as Jerome Onguene had to clear the ball away from the goal line following a good Schulz header.
As brave as the hosts were proving to be, our boys continued to set the tone. Szoboszlai sent a free-kick swirling into the box and Gremsl let it float over him, allowing Albert Vallci to nod it right in for a vital opening goal (22')! We almost added a second on the half-hour mark but despite accelerating away, our speedster Patson Daka was denied by the post. Luxbacher then had a go at the other end, and Cican Stankovic had to reach right out to keep us ahead. The Wolves' coach Robert Ibertsberger could be pretty pleased about things despite trailing at half-time as Schmidt smashed a shot just off-target.
The hosts did not disappoint at the start of the second period, either. Hugi teed up Schmidt, and Wöber had to throw himself into the shot to block it before Pokorny tested Stankovic on the rebound. The ball then squeezed its way through to Daka a few minutes later, but he sent his shot wide of the far post. Andi Ulmer sent the next free-kick into the box, where Onguene leapt into the air but headed just off-target.
1,156 fans then saw Koita go into turbo mode and switch it over to send Szobo through, only for Muhamedbegovic to throw himself into the Hungarian's shot. Jesse Marsch shuffled the pack by bringing in three reinforcements from the substitutes' bench. One of these, Mergim Berisha, fed Szobo, who set up Daka in the middlle -- only for Gremsl to just manage to turn it behind. The resulting corner was struck by the Hungarian, and Andre Ramalho headed it onto Enock Mwepu, who headed wide. The Zambian then grabbed our second goal. Ulmer tucked the ball back to Szoboszlai, who prodded it through to Enock, and our midfield dynamo made no mistake when firing in. What a delightful little move that was (77')!
Daka had a chance to add a third after Okafor set him up superbly, but he was denied by the keeper, as was Wöber with a header moments later. Berisha then had a turn, but his shot from 18 metres out was hit too close to the keeper. Ramalho then showed how to do it - another great Szobo corner reached the Brazilian, who headed right in (88'). After a wonderful end to the game, we took a convincing 3-0 away win!
St. Pölten were strong and made things difficult for us today, especially in the first half. The second half was much better. I am pleased with the way the team improved and happy that we made the next round!
St Pölten created a lot of pressure and kept on troubling us. In the second half we improved, and we deserved to win in the end. Now we need to learn from our mistakes today and focus totally on Wednesday.
Ramalho for Onguene (62'), Camara for Okugawa (62'), Berisha for Koita (62'), Okafor for Junuzovic (79'), Ashimeru for Mwepu (88')
Mwepu (66' foul)
not available for action
Bernede (Broken shin)