DAVID SMITH - Friday, September 26, 2014
The second round of the Austrian Cup was a success for both Shawn Barry and Conor O'Brien, with both Americans seeing their teams advance to the final 16 of the competition.
FC Lankowitz 0 - 3 LASK Linz
Shawn Barry went the distance for Linz, as they opened the second round of the Cup with a convincing three-goal victory over fourth-division opponent FC Lankowitz.
The team did show some signs of fatigue from playing their third game in a week, lacking the deadly edge one would usually expect to see on display against a team competing two divisions below.
They did finally break free of the doldrums in the 40th minute when Sebastian Schröger and Radovan Vujanovic combined on the attack, with the latter finally burying a cross from five yards out.
Then at the hour mark, the Serbian forward struck again, this time with Christopher Drazan threading a pass through the defense for another easy finish by Vujanovic.
He then completed his hat-trick in the 80th minute, this time with Markus Blutsch doing the prep work, sealing the 3-0 win for his team.
Linz now move to the eighth-final of the competition, set to take place in late-October, but will turn their focus back to their busy Ersta Liga schedule, where they are set to play SKN St. Pölten on Friday.
SC Wiener Neustadt 2 - 2 FC Admira Wacker (pen. 5-3)
Conor O'Brien was a second-half substitute for Neustadt on Wednesday evening, playing the final 18 minutes of regulation and eventually successfully converting his attempt in the penalty shootout, as the team squeaked by fellow top-flight opponent Admira Wacker to reach the next round.
Barely one month after a memorable 5-4 derby win against Wacker in league play, Neustadt were looking to once again come out victorious against their local rivals in what will be the second of four meetings this season.
They were off to a good start after 27 minutes when Michael Tieber set up Matthias Koch in the area for the opener, however Issiaka Ouédraogo equalized for Wacker seven minutes later on the end of a dangerous counter.
The teams again traded goals in the second half, with Christian Deutschmann heading in a corner from Koch in the 68th minute, then Markus Katzer pulling the visitors even with eight minutes left in regulation to force overtime.
O'Brien, who entered in the 72nd minute, had a near miss on a shot near the end of the second overtime period, but was successful with his penalty attempt - the first in the final shoot-out.
In the end, Neustadt converted all five of their attempts, and keeper Domenik Schierl proved the hero by blocking one against the visitors, to help secure his team the 5-3 edge.
Neustadt will hope to carry the momentum from the win back to their faltering league campaign, and will have high hopes of taking the win on Saturday when they visit last-place SV Ried.