The Wolfsbergers ended the first phase of the season with only three points more than Ried in ninth place.
The game started with a shock for the hosts. Captain Stefan Nutz got stuck in the grass after just a few minutes and retired with a suspected cruciate ligament tear. Nevertheless, the Upper Austrians presented themselves as the somewhat more dangerous team.
Leo Mikic headed well over the goal from a good position, and Philipp Pomer’s long-range shot was close (34′). By far the best chance before the break was missed by Rieds Aleksandar Lutovac – the Serb came to the ball alone in front of WAC keeper Hendrik Bonmann after a mistake by Kevin Bukusu, but only hit the crossbar with a lob (45 + 3).
The Carinthians had little to offer on offense before the change of sides, with the exception of a sit-on header from Maurice Malone, which goalkeeper Jonas Wendlinger easily defused. However, they came very close to equalizing in the 62nd minute: after Malone had done some excellent preparatory work, substitute Nikolas Veratschnig shot well over the crossbar on the fifth, under pressure from Rieder.
The hosts had only drawn attention to themselves with a shot from the outside of the net by Pomer (47th), in the finish they missed two good opportunities for their first home win since mid-October of the previous year. First, “Joker” Belmin Beganovic failed to run towards the goal alone at Bonmann (81′), in the subsequent corner Julian Turi headed relatively close.
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