CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Sunday, July 29, 2012
Rapid held their opponent scoreless for a second weekend, and maintained their dominance at the top of the standings with a win over struggling Wiener Neustadt.
After a goal-less first half, Rapid secured a victory with through a second-half Mario Sonnleitner strike which made the difference in the victory for the Green and Whites.
Terrence Boyd registered his second start for Rapid and went the distance in a match dominated by the visitors, contrary to what the scoreline might indicate.
The former Borussia Dortmund product nearly notched his third goal of the season in the eighth minute off a Steffen Hofmann corner from the right side. Mario Sonnleitner nodded the captain's corner through for Boyd at the backpost, but the German-American's header missed just left of the post.
A minute later, Rapid saw another prime opportunity to take the lead when Markus Katzer found Deni Alar wide open ten yards in front of the net. The Austrian striker somehow managed to fire right of Jörg Siebenhandl's net.
Although the visitors in green and white dominated possession throughout the first half, goals were hard to come by for Rapid. Just before the intermission, the captain Steffen Hofmann again found Boyd with a long corner, which he headed just left of the net.
With the hosts seldom potent, Rapid finally took the lead in the 54th minute off a corner. Christopher Drazan sent a long delivery into the box for Christopher Trimmel at the back post, who headed to an unmarked Sonnleitner in front of the net. The Austrian defender made no mistake and smacked home past Siebenhandl, league's best goalkeeper last season, for the 1-0 advantage.
After an elbow on Trimmel in the first half, Wiener Neustadt's Jiri Lenko picked up second yellow for a vicious high boot on Deni Alar in the 61st minute, sending the Czech defender to the showers.
In spite of the extra man, Vienna found few chances until the waning minutes when substitute Thomas Prager found Hofmann with space in front of the net, but the German captain's strike from 15 yards out sky-rocketed over the bar.
Vienna maintain their hold on the top spot of the Bundesliga while Wiener Neustadt sit in ninth with no points. After a Thursday night Europa League qualifier at FK Vojvodina Novi Sad in Serbia, Rapid return to host Austria Vienna next Sunday in the first derby of the regular season.