Rapid coach Zoran Barisic knows that too. “We’re going to let it all sink in and fight for fourth place,” said the 52-year-old, who was still on the pitch in 1995 at the 14th and so far last Cuptriumph Rapids. Back then they defeated the second division team DSV Leoben 1-0, this time they were outsiders themselves and confirmed that. “Based on the second half, you have to say that Sturm deserved to win. We lost a final, that hurts a lot.”
Guido Burgstaller (“Shortly after that there is absolute emptiness”) also had to capture that. “Sturm is a team that works together, they don’t let anything go wrong, they are very disciplined, they were smarter. Due to the second half, Sturm was the deserved winner,” explained the green-white goal guarantee, which, like his teammates, was completely unregistered in the Styrian defense. “We missed a big goal.”
Sturm is crowned the cup winner
With a well-deserved 2-0 triumph in the sold-out and atmospheric cup final against Rapid, Sturm won the cup final.
Weakened by replacements, the green-whites were still able to keep up in the first half, accepted the fight in the sold-out 28 Black Arena in Klagenfurt and transferred the intensity in the stands to the field. “In the first half it was a great fight from us,” praised Burgstaller. Barisic saw it similarly: “It was still very balanced in the first half, but then we got ourselves into trouble with one or the other action.”
down after a break
Shortly after the restart, a mistake almost led to Sturm’s lead, the later cup hero Manprit Sarkaria and Emanuel Emegha spared the Viennese from a major defeat. “In the second half we lost the decisive duels, which allowed us to create chances for Sturm,” analyzed Barisic. Ultimately, it was only a matter of time before Sturm would convert the superiority into goals. Rapid just ran after them. “We just lost the thread in the second half,” said Burgstaller.
That didn’t come as a surprise. Sturm have not lost ten games in a row against Rapid, against series champions Salzburg you can keep the games open from time to time, but you have been waiting for a win for 18 games. And even against LASK, the current third party, they were clearly at a disadvantage in the end. In the table, nine points are missing in third place, which would mean participation in an international group stage. However, Hütteldorfer must of course take a look in the rear-view mirror, because the arch-rival from Vienna favorites is only two points behind Rapid, and Austria Klagenfurt is also only one point behind.
“The question is what to make of it”
The green-whites, who worked their way to the cup final on a much easier path than Sturm, are now trying to tick off their third final defeat in six years. “It is now important to slow down and then to approach the tasks fully motivated and concentrated again. We still have a lot to do before the end of the championship,” stressed Barisic. “Defeats are part of sport. The question is what you make of it.” The summer will probably also show that when it comes to reducing the lead over teams like Sturm using the transfer market.
Uniqa ÖFB Cup, final
Rapid – Sturm 0:2 (0:0)
Klagenfurt, 28 Black Arena, 30,000 (sold out), SR Jäger
0:1 Sarkaria (66.)
0:2 Sarkaria (84.)
Rapid: Hedl – Schick, K. Wimmer, Moormann, Auer – Kerschbaum, Pejic – Kühn (73./Bajic), Greil (80./Druijf), Grüll (80./Strunz) – Burgstaller
Sturm: Okonkwo – Gazibegovic, Affengruber, Wüthrich, Schnegg – Gorenc Stankovic – Hierländer, Kiteishvili (76./Horvat), Prass (89./Geyrhofer) – Sarkaria (92./Teixeira), Emegha
Yellow cards: Auer, Wimmer, Pejic and Schnegg, Prass
The best: Kühn, Hedl or Gorenc Stankovic, Sarkaria, Wüthrich, Prass