Jusuf Gazibegovic first surprised Austria goalie Christian Früchtl with a long-range shot and gave the visitors the lead in the ninth minute. A kick from Martins in the face by Prass was decisive, which resulted in the red card from referee Stefan Ebner after examining the video images (33rd), Luckily ÖFB team player Prass was able to continue playing.
Five minutes later, newcomer Szymon Wlodarczyk headed the ball to make it 2-0 (38′) on his Bundesliga debut and ensured a comfortable lead at the break. After the change of sides and a double substitution at Austria, the home side had their best phase with two chances, but David Affengruber also headed in the final decision after a corner kick (60th). Sturm are leaders in the Bundesliga after the first day of play.
Storm wins sovereign in Vienna
Austria’s runners-up won 3-0 (2-0) at Wiener Austria on Sunday at the end of the first round.
For the first time since 2019/20 (3-0 against St. Pölten), Graz celebrated a start win. The Grazers have only managed five victorious duels with Austria once in a row: from June 1995 to May 1996.
New additions here and there
Austria coach Michael Wimmer made two changes to the purple winning team on Thursday. U21 team captain Matthias Braunöder, who was a substitute in the 1-0 win against Banja Luka in the Conference League qualifier, pushed Aleksandar Jukic out of the starting lineup. Johannes Handl defended instead of Matteo Meisl. Left back, Marvin Potzmann made the debut for his sixth Bundesliga club.
Two new players made their league debut in Sturm. In addition to Dutch goalie Kjell Scherpen, young striker Wlodarczyk was also in the starting eleven. The Spanish new acquisition Javi Serrano, the ex-Austrians Alexandar Borkovic and Vesel Demaku (all Sturm II) and Jakob Jantscher did not make it into the squad.
Early lead for Sturm
The guests already had advantages in the fast-paced initial phase. The Austria goalkeeper helped with the lead. Früchtl let Gazibegovic’s powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area into the near corner (9′). From then on, the German goalie seemed unsettled. After an unsuccessful excursion near the goal line, he corrected himself against Wlodarczyk (16th).
The Polish attacker happily turned away after 20 minutes in the rain. However, the 20-year-old was offside when Otar Kiteishvili passed the hole. Austria sought their salvation in a counterattack, but did not shake the defensively convincing Styrians. On the contrary: Sturm brought the high number of strokes more precisely onto the field. The playful Manprit Sarkaria served Kiteishvili in the backcourt, the Georgian’s shot was deflected to a corner.
Martins flies off the pitch
Austria was ten after the 33rd minute. Martins stopped the breaking Prass with the high stretched leg. Referee Stefan Ebner watched the horror foul on TV – and converted the yellow card into a red card. Prass initially lay on the pitch with a wound on his face, was able to continue and was unlucky before the break when he hit the crossbar (40′).
GEPA/Johannes Friedl Martins hit Prass in the face with his foot and was sent off with a red card
At this point it was already 2-0. After a corner from Sarkaria, Wlodarczyk headed relatively unchallenged into the orphaned far corner (38′). Austria dragged themselves into the dressing room with great difficulty, but also had to do hard work after the change of sides.
Affengruber ensures the final score
First, the violets had the first and ultimately the best chance to score. Manuel Polster, who came on in the break for Dominik Fitz, who was hanging in the air, showed up with a solo (56th). Scissors and the pole were involved. The home fans briefly drew hope, but what followed was the next blow in the neck. Affengruber came up with speed from a Sarkaria corner kick and effortlessly prevailed against Polster in a header duel (60′).
In the rest of the game, Austria successfully limited the damage, Sturm unwound the show running with some fresh personnel from dust. For the Viennese, it is first “English” and three times in a row away from home. The second leg in Banja Luka on Thursday will be followed by performances in Lustenau and Salzburg. Sturm welcome LASK on Saturday before the Champions League qualifier (third round/first leg) calls in Eindhoven on Tuesday (8 August).
Comments on the game:
Michael Wimmer (Austria coach): “We didn’t get on well, so we decided to do something else. We then fell behind early on, after the red card we had to collect ourselves. We went into the break a little happily at 0:2, so we could have been further behind. But I can’t blame my team after the break. In the end it was 3-0, a deserved win that’s okay. When it came to set pieces, I thought we had them under control. But today it was confirmed that we still have problems there.”
Christian Ilzer (Sturm coach): “I’m very happy, it was a great start. Vienna is not an easy place, others will have problems there. We forced our game on Austria. We also had the key elements such as (Haris, note) Tabakovic under control. The only point of criticism is that we played too much on control and not enough on the end goal when we were outnumbered. But we solved the first metric very, very well.”
Admiral Bundesliga, first round
Austria Vienna – Sturm Graz 0: 3 (0: 2)
Vienna, Generali Arena, 13,000, SR Ebner
0:1 Gazibegovic (9.)
0:2 Wlodarczyk (38.)
0:3 Affengruber (60.)
Austria Vienna: Früchtl – Handl, Martins, Galvao (74./Jukic) – Ranftl, Holland (46./Gruber), Braunöder, Potzmann – Fischer (74./Meisl), Fitz (46./Polster) – Tabakovic (83./Huskovic )
Storm Graz: Scherpen – Gazibegovic, Affengruber, Wüthrich, Schnegg (82./Dante) – Gorenc-Stankovic – Hierländer, Kiteishvili (72./Horvat), Prass (66./Böving) – Sarkaria (82./Geyrhofer), Wlodarczyk (66./Teixeira)
Rote Karte: Martins (33./Foul)
Gelbe Karte: Jukic bzw. Prass, Kiteishvili, Sarkaria, Böving