CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Saturday, August 20, 2011
Linz surged into second place after a trio of strikes in the first half-hour gave them a vital away-win, with defender Shawn Barry registering 27 minutes as a second-half substitute to help secure the three points.
The visitors wasted no time in lighting up the scoreboard with a fine one-two between Hannes Aigner and Harald Unverdorben. From the left edge of the box Aigner received a throw-in, and flicked a pass into the box for Harald Unverdorben, who rolled off defender Marco Taschwer and fired into far side of the Andreas Schranz's net for the early 1-0 lead.
Aigner again set up the second goal lofting a long ball to Daniel Kogler, who sprinted down the right side and attempted an unlikely shot from a tight angle that defender Taschwer instead deflected over Schranz into his own net to give Linz the 2-0 lead.
Grödig tried to get back in the game just two minutes after Ernst Öbster on the right flank found Marcus Hanikel streaming in the box for a close-range header, which Linz keeper Thomas Mandl quickly blocked.
A 30-yard blast signed Florian Hart lit up the scoreboard again for the Linzers in the 31st minute. With a free kick, the 21-year old stepped up and fired through the Grödig wall leaving Schranz standing in the dust.
A knock to Christoph Kobleder in the 63rd minute prompted Linz coach Walter Schachner to bring on Barry for the defender.
Grödig did what they could to at least get on the board, and came close in the 67th minute when Mersudin Jukić nabbed a Lukas Schubert long-range shot at the top of the box, and pinged the left post.
Linz held on for the win and, coupled with losses by SCR Altach and SC Austria Lustenau, moved up two places into second, one point behind WAC/St. Andrä who managed a draw on Friday.
The Black and Whites return to Linz to host the WAC/St. Andrä on Monday.