RECAP: LASK LINZ 2 - 1 SV SCHOLZ GRÖDIG
The Black and Whites returned to the winning column after fighting off a Scholz Grödig comeback, thank to goals from Kevin Wimmer and Benjamin Freudentaler.
American Shawn Barry returned to the regular season starting lineup, going the distance in coach Walter Schachner's back line before the home crowd at the Gugl.
After 19 minutes, Linz threaded a series of excellent passes from the halfway line through the Grödig defense down the left side, culminating in a breakaway shot inside the area from Benjamin Freudentaler that slipped past keeper Andreas Schranz for the 1-0 lead.
Scholz Grödig's Joachim Parapatits kept it close seven minutes later after capitalizing on a defensive mistake from Linz's Kevin Wimmer. The Linz defender had tried to control a backpass with a header, but only managed to nod back for Parapatsis, who broke down towards Thomas Mandl and fired into the upper left 90 for the 1-1 equalizer.
However, Wimmer had the redeeming last laugh at the 50-minute mark with a fine header to put the hosts back in the lead. Brazilian Luiz Henrique dished up the free kick from the right side for the defender, who redirected the shot with a flashing header just inside the left post of Schranz's net for the 2-1 lead.
Linz had to defend the lead and finish the evening with ten men, after defender Ulrich Winkler was given his marching orders following a hard challenge on Peter Tschernegg in the 71st minute.
Although Linz earned the much-needed three points, their third-place position in the standings remained unchanged after the top four squads in the Erste Liga finished victorious.
Next Friday, Linz travel to the suburbs of Salzburg to face RZ Pellets WAC/St. Andrä.