CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Monday, December 17, 2012
Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna finished out their first set of the season on a down note, falling on the road to the league's worst team.
Boyd recorded a full ninety of action in embattled coach Peter Schöttel's eleven perhaps for the last time, if rumors surrounding Boyd's departure or Schöttels sacking come to pass.
Poor field conditions plagued the pace of the entire match, as in the 37th minute when Rapid defender Gerson attempted a back-pass to Lukas Königshofer that only got as far as a water-logged spot just inside box. Stefan Rakowitz was there to pounce on the sitting duck, but Könighofer couldn't avoid contact with the striker, prompting a penalty call and yellow card for the custodian from referee Thomas Prammer.
Daniel Offenbacher stepped up for the conversion, but again the poor field conditions continued their comedic orchestration, causing Offenbach to catapult his strike nowhere near the frame and into the Saturday night sky.
In spite of the field, Wiener Neustadt notched a well-earned goal just before the half, organizing a drive starting with Rakowitz's feed from the midfield ahead of the Rapid backline to Dominik Hofbauer on the flank, who immediately relayed back into the box for a sliding strike from Dario Tadíc to give the hosts the 1-0 lead.
Rapid tried the best they could to pull even - with Mario Sonnleitner's header off a corner in the 58th minute that was headed back off the line by defender Michael Berger, and a Deni Alar free kick that smacked the right post five minutes later - but found no luck in the unforgiving conditions.
With the result, Rapid remains in third with 38 points, three behind Red Bull Salzburg and ten behind "Winter Kings" Austria Vienna.
The Bundesliga season resumes after the winter break on Feb. 16, when Austria Vienna pay a visit to Rapid's Hanappi Stadlium for the third derby of the season.