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Saturday, September 24, 2022

Sturm Graz temporarily top of the table after 4-0 over Altach

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Rasmus Höjlund (15th), Emanuel Emegha on his home debut (72nd, 89th) and Moritz Wels (78th) scored for the Styrians, who had struggled for a long time a few days after the European Cup appearance against Dynamo Kyiv. Altach slipped away from the game with a man down after a curious sending off by Dominik Reiter (67th).

After Saturday, Sturm is in the lead with eight points because the competition won’t be in action until Sunday. After four rounds, Altach holds just as many points. Graz is no longer worth a trip for the people of Vorarlberg. In the 20th guest appearance it was the 16th defeat.

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In the storm, Höjlund was a little surprising in the starting line-up. The Dane’s use was uncertain after a muscle hardening in his thigh. With Stefan Hierländer, another shaky candidate led Graz onto the field. Christian Ilzer forced an eleven in the rhythm of the game. Miroslav Klose replaced the young attacking midfield trio behind striker Atdhe Nuhiu due to apparently poor training performance as a result of the 3-2 win against Vienna Austria.

Altach goalie Tino Casali broke through the confused initial phase with a fatal bad pass. Alexander Prass intercepted the ball, Höjlund was there in the center and scored his third goal of the season with a slide (15′). On the other side, Stefan Haudum was surprised by the chance to equalize (25′). Sturm’s Tomi Horvat had extended a cross in front of Haudum’s feet, but he “shaved” the ball.

Altach managed to shift the game to the Graz half. Sturm lurked for counterattack chances, limited himself to the essentials – and was lucky after a few half-chances in the 37th minute: After a Nuhiu header, the ball wriggled in the goal. However, referee Gerhard Grobelnik had already rated an aerial duel between Lukas Gugganig and David Affengruber as a foul and deprived the video referee of the possible intervention.

The favorite could have comfortably led to the break. But Höjlund failed with a casual chip on Casali. The 19-year-old young star, who started on the edge of offside in the center line, then trotted into the dressing room in disbelief.

Grazer pushed the pace again after the change of sides. Horvat (52./shot) and Gorenc-Stankovic (53./header) shots were central. Klose reacted and, in Alexis Tibidi and Jan Jurcec, brought in two players that were expected in the starting line-up. Altach suddenly became more dangerous, Nuhiu headed a cross from Manuel Thurnwald over the crossbar.

A Graz counterattack brought Dominik Reiter a rare yellow-red card (67th). Referee Grobelnik punished two offenses in one attack. Five minutes later, Emegha raised on their home debut. The Dutch U19 team striker, who came on shortly after being sent off, decided against the pass to Höjlund and beat Casali with a shot into the near corner (72′). Altach complained that the goal scorer had played a foul, but it was still the goal.

The matter then became even clearer: 17-year-old Wels scored his first Bundesliga goal from a tight angle (78th). The youngster had come on for Hierländer just seconds earlier and scored with the captain’s armband to be handed over. Emegha pushed a Ljubic cross pass over the line from close range for a brace (89′).

Before that, Austria had defeated WSG Tirol 2-1 (1-0) at home outnumbered. The violets stop at one point after four rounds. Austria Klagenfurt also celebrated their first win of the season in a 1-0 win over Ried and now have four points to catch up with the Upper Austrians. On Sunday (5 p.m., live ticker on nachrichten.at), LASK welcomes SK Rapid to a duel for the lead in the table, while champions Salzburg face WAC. Hartberg makes a guest appearance at promoted Austria Lustenau.

Source: Nachrichten

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