Bundesliga: Hartberg saves a draw against WAC


Hartberg wrested a draw from the WAC in the end of a turbulent game at the end of the year in the Admiral Bundesliga. The Lavanttaler were 2-0 up early on Saturday in Eastern Styria, but after a goal from Mario Sonnleitner in stoppage time, the local team made it 2-2. The WAC runs the risk of having to surrender second place to Sturm Graz on Sunday. Hartberg is seventh for the time being.

Tai Baribo (16th) and Dario Vizinger (20th) gave Wolfsberg an early lead, the eighth win in the last nine rounds seemed to have been done for Robin Dutt’s team. Donis Avdijaj (35th) brought Hartberg back into the game before the break. After the WAC missed a preliminary decision in the second half, Sonnleitner was there after a corner kick with his head.

In front of the “ghost backdrop” in Hartberg, both teams arrived without any major personal surprises. The playing field was in good shape after the day before they were busily shoveling snow. The home side got off to a better start, but Dario Tadic, after preliminary work by Avdijaj, moved too centrally to WAC keeper Alexander Kofler (10th). Instead of 1-0 for Hartberg, ten minutes later it was 2-0 for the WAC.

WAC hits ice cold

The guests acted in the style of a self-confident and well-rehearsed team. Eliel Peretz failed from the spin to Rene Swete, before a quickly played combination via Michael Liendl, Vizinger and Peretz paved the lead for goal scorer Baribo (8th goal of the season). The Hartbergers were just extras in the scene.

Four minutes later, Peretz was quicker to try to clarify the Styrian, the Israeli found Vizinger, who brought the ball past Swete. The goalie tried his best, but only caught the ball behind the line. Baribo would probably have used the extractor anyway.

Follow-up hit by Avdijaj

At Hartberg, the strongest in the home team’s jersey braced himself against the defeat. Avdijaj, deployed in the central offensive midfield, invested a lot. The German, once considered highly talented, initially failed due to Kofler (23rd), then he just missed the case (33rd).

In the 35th minute, the 25-year-old finally rewarded himself. Avdijaj pulled from over 20 meters worth seeing, Kofler had no chance. The WAC tried to find an answer, but Hartberg was back in the game.

Happy ending for Hartberg

Kurt Russ’s team wanted to add more after changing sides. Again it was Kofler who could not be beaten with a double chance by Noel Niemann (53rd). The WAC withstood the first onslaught. After an hour, Dutt took his Israeli duo Peretz and Baribo off the field. Shortly afterwards, Liendl had the possible preliminary decision on his feet, but failed due to Swete, who was strong like his counterpart.

Thanks to early pressing, the Wolfsbergers managed to curb Hartberg’s forward thrust. Substitute Röcher and Liendl missed two more chances to make it 3-1. So Hartberg still had one chance in stoppage time: Tadic kicked the corner, Sonnleitner successfully held his head out.

Bundesliga, 18th round


Hartberg – WAC 2:2 (1:2)

Profertil Arena, no spectators allowed, SR Lechner

Goal sequence:
0:1 Baribo (16.)
0: 2 Vizinger (20.)
1: 2 Obadiah (35th)
2:2 Sonnleitner (92.)

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Bundesliga: Hartberg saves a draw against WAC