RECAP: ST. PÖLTEN 2 - 2 LASK LINZ
LASK slipped a spot in the standings after a hard-fought comeback, only to concede late and leave it even in St. Pölten.
Defender Shawn Barry earned another start under coach Walter Schachner and went the distance in the backline for the Black-and-Whites.
St. Pölten need only a few minutes totake the lead in front of a home crowd at Stadion Voithplatz thanks to Spanish starlet Daniel Lucas Segovia. In the leadup Mirnes Becirovic fed in from the left side to Michael Ambichl at the top of the box, who tapped forward to the Spaniard, who lifted a strike into the upper left corner of Thomas Mandl's net for the 1-0 lead.
Earning his first start for coach Walter Schachner, Brazilian Luis Enrique threatened after 14 minutes with a cross from the left flank for Harald Unverdorben, whose header was lifted over the bar by St. Pölten keeper Christoph Riegler.
Referee Andreas Kollegger's presence was felt in the 25th minute after dishing out a questionable penalty in the Linzers' favor. In the box Enrique fell to Segovia's disbelief after slight contact and earned the referee's finger to the spot.
Linz veteran Hannes Aigner stepped up to roll past Riegler for the 25th-minute equalizer, his seventh goal of the season and his fifth penalty conversion.
Just seven minutes later, the Linzers lit up the scoreboard again after Daniel Kogler serviced up a great long-ball from the midfield for Unverdorben, who deflected it forward, caught up with it, and chipped over Riegler and off the post into the net for the 2-1 lead.
However, a resolute St. Pölten eleven brought terms even in the 79th minute, when, camped out on the right, Markus Speiser crossed into the box for Segovia, who redirected towards the frame with a powerful header to bring the score to 2-2.
Four minutes later Ulrich Winkler saw yellow for the second time, after felling substitute Robert Gruberbauer, and was dismissed. It was the seventh yellow of the evening for the Linzers from Kollegger's pocket.
In the 87th minute Florian Templ nearly won it for the visitors with a last-gasp strike from 15 yards that clanged the crossbar, but the affair ended even after 90 minutes.
LASK slipped to third, but is still only three points behind the league leaders WAC/St. Andrä.
The Black-and-Whites return home to host their cross-town rivals FC Blau-Weiss Linz next Friday.