Rapid suffered their best defeat in recent years on Thursday. A 2-1 defeat in Bucharest to FCSB’s Steaua successors a week ago was enough to make the seventh overall move into the group stage of the European Football League thanks to the home 3-1 win, which created a collective euphoria.
Bucharest – All the low blows suffered in the league were forgotten in one fell swoop, at least for a short time – as was the case with coach Goran Djuricin, who had recently been confronted with “Gogo out” calls from the organised fan scene. In Romania there was nothing more to hear about it. “That will probably not happen for a while now,” the 43-year-old smiled, describing the success as “satisfaction for myself, for my work, for the whole coaching staff.”
The coach clearly noticed the relief immediately after the final whistle. “I can’t really handle it yet,” Djuricin explained in the first euphoria. “I’m very happy, I’m relieved. Now I have to see that I come down a bit.”
1st half? “Everything went wrong.”
After the first 45 minutes at 0:2, there was still a lot to be said for the elimination. “In the first half we didn’t succeed. Everything went wrong that can only go wrong”. Only after the side change it ran more fluently with Rapid. “We agreed in the break that we would take off the Pampers, and without Pampers it went much better,” Djuricin said.
The Viennese stressed that the promotion was deserved. “I’m especially happy for the players, because sometimes it was said that they have no mentality or are physically weak. In the second half, they proved that that was not true.”
Captain Stefan Schwab justified the increase after the change of side with the fact that, in view of the completely desolate pitch, the ball was played faster from the first third and thus had less dangerous ball losses. “The second half was tactically better and more clever,” said the Salzburg player. Read here the Ladbrokes Bingo review.
The 27-year-old felt “huge emotions” after his progress. Such a short ascent is much nicer than when it is clear”. The general conditions were extremely difficult, Schwab stressed. “We lost five or six important players, but we got it all right. That’s why I’m incredibly proud of the team, because it wasn’t easy what was around it last time,” the midfielder explained in allusion to the discussions about Djuricin. “We enjoy working with the coach. We’ve been back on track lately and I hope it goes on like this.”
Strebinger holds, Sonnleitner meets
The fact that Rapid scratched the curve for the time being is also due to the consistently strong goalie Richard Strebinger, who defused a top chance in the finish. “After the final whistle, I noticed that the whole burden was falling. I think a few players collapsed, including me,” the Lower Austrian revealed.
The scorer of the saving goal was Mario Sonnleitner – the central defender was awarded the goal by UEFA, even though FCSB pro Mihai Balasa, who was eliminated in the final, had kicked the ball into the net. It was Sonnleitner’s fourth goal in 68 European Cup games – 18 for Sturm Graz and 50 for Rapid. He scored three of them against clubs from the Romanian capital: The defender had already won the first leg against FCSB and in December 2009 against Dinamo Bucharest in a storm dress.
He scored his fourth goal in August 2010 in Rapids’ legendary 3-2 away win over Aston Villa. This time the joy about the promotion was probably just as great. “It’s really awesome that we managed that. We showed a lot of mentality”, cheered Sonnleitner, but also added: “We stay humble and won’t spit big sounds.”