CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Thursday, August 4, 2011
Shawn Barry and Linz rolled to their third win of the young season, nabbing a trio of goals within a half an hour thanks to a double strike from Johannes Aigner.
The American recorded 45 minutes of action in his second appearance for LASK since being relegated from the Austrian Bundesliga at the end of last season.
The Linzers got on the board quickly in the Stadion der Stadt Linz after Benjamin Freudentaler, with plenty of space on the left flank, threaded a pass into the area for Aigner, who relayed to Harald Unverdorben for the easy volley from ten yards out and the 1-0 lead.
After 23 minutes Aigner did the scoring himself with a toe-poke past Hartberg keeper Jürgen Rindler, after Kevin Wimmer nodded over a Daniel Kogler free kick from the left post into the box.
Wimmer and Aigner teamed up again just two minutes later with another long ball down the left side from the former to the latter at the top of the box. Entering the area, Aigner muscled past Hartberg defender Michael Huber to get off a lob over Rindler from the penalty spot for his second of the season and the 3-0 advantage to take into halftime.
Barry entered at the half for Florian Hart, who had picked up a yellow card in the 21st minute, his second of the season.
The former Virginia Cavalier ignited the breakaway that led to the final goal just a minute before the final whistle, pushing forward for Florian Templ in the midfield. After a long ball to Leonhard Kaufmann camped out on the left, Templ charged into the box to nearly get a foot on Kaufmann's cross, but Ali Hamdemir was there to chip over Rindler for his first goal of the season and the 4-0 final.
The win keeps Linz in fourth with eleven points, with a chance to gain ground on second place SC Austria Lustenau when they clash on Friday, Aug 12. Next up for the Linzers is a Friday ÖFB Samsung Cup meeting away at SK Sturm Graz Amateure.