RECAP: SC AUSTRIA LUSTENAU 2 – 1 SCR ALTACH
Josh Gatt found the back of the net for the third consecutive time in a losing effort that puts Altach in second going into the three-month winter break.
The visitors in Lustenau's Reichshofstadion jumped out to the early lead, but conceded two and saw defender Gernot Suppan get sent off.
Michigan-born Josh Gatt provided the lead after a quarter-hour with his fourth of the season and third in as many games. Gatt also picked up his fourth yellow card in a full ninety of action.
The opening goal came courtesy of Matthis Koch, who lofted in a perfect cross from the midfield for Gatt running in between two defenders. The 19-year old did well to head forward past backup keeper Christian Mendes, catch up to the loose ball from five yards out, and slot home for the one goal lead.
Altach's advantage was short-lived as Lustenau equalized only four minutes later following a Suppan foul on Gerald Krajic outside the box on the left flank. Sascha Boller delivered in the ensuing freekick, and Jürgen Kampel redirected it with a header in front of the net past Martin Kobras.
The pivotal moment of the match came in the 36th minute when Suppan received his marching orders after an altercation with Boller. Referee Dominik Ouschan issued yellow for Boller's shove, but red for Suppan's elbow in retaliation, leaving Altach less than an hour to play with ten men.
Lustenau managed to nab the lead just before the break courtesy of a Krajic tap-in. Felix Roth began the play from outside the area, feeding forward for Dursun Karatay, who relayed across the face of the goal. From an onside position, Krajic was there at the back post to tap past Kobras and claim the lead.
Josh Gatt picked up a yellow card right after, his fourth of the season.
Adi Hütter hoped that bringing on goal-scorer Orhan Ademi at halftime would boost his attack, but the hosts were too strong and created more chances throughout the second period.
The best came in the 85th minute when Bollar sprinted down the right flank and got off a dangerous left-footer that required a diving save from Kobras. Krajic tried to plow in the deflection but Kobras was able to dive again for the save.
The Black and Golds were unable to produce an equalizer and had to settle for second place for the winter break, following FC Admira's 5-1 win over SKN St. Pölten.
The 22nd round of the Erste Liga resumes on Feb. 25 as Altach look for revenge against their Stegl Cup ousters First Vienna FC 1894.