Thierno Ballo scored the gold goal in the largely even game (82′). Thanks to the success, the Carinthians moved up to three points behind the violets in the table and stayed in ninth place over the winter. Austria starts the spring from seventh place.
Austria coach Manfred Schmid had to do without the regular captain Lukas Mühl (groin problems) for the last game of the year in addition to the long-term injuries. Reinhold Ranftl got fit in time after his shoulder injury, central defender Lucas Galvao returned to the starting XI after his suspension. Visiting coach Robin Dutt left his starting XI unchanged after a passable performance in the 2-1 home defeat to Salzburg.
Before the game started, there was good news for the violet fans. Striker Muharem Huskovic returned to the stadium for the first time since his car accident and was warmly greeted by the purple supporters.
Austria started the game better and acted courageously with almost 12,000 spectators behind them. However, it took a while before the first dangerous action was taken. A promising finish by Andreas Gruber was deflected into goal (13′). A few minutes later there was the first dangerous action on the other side. In a duel between Maurice Malone and Galvao, the referee rightly allowed Altmann to continue.
As a result, the game flattened out, Austria was no longer offensive, the WAC only had half chances. Before the break, however, it became dangerous again on both sides. After studying the video, the referee canceled a goal by Tai Baribo due to a high leg (38′). In stoppage time, Ervin Omic saved WAC from going behind when he blocked a shot from Manfred Fischer (45+1.).
In the second half of the game, Austria also came out stronger from the dressing room, but shots by Dominik Fitz (51st) and Galvao (53rd) did not bring anything countable. After a little over an hour, a shot by substitute Nikola Dovedan just missed the goal (63′). At the other end, Veratschnig missed twice from a promising position (68′), shortly afterwards another Baribo goal was denied, this time due to an offside position (69′).
After that, a header from Maurice Malone bounced off the bottom edge of the bar and onto the goal line, but not into the goal (76′). In return, Dovedan shot WAC goalkeeper Hendrik Bonmann from close range (77th). In the 82nd minute of the game, the decisive goal was scored in favor of the guests. After a mistake in Galvao’s play structure, the ball came via detours to Ballo, who had come on as a substitute immediately before, and who scored alone in front of Christian Früchtl.