With the win, Rapid booked further European Cup games on February 17th and 24th. The Viennese contest the first leg in their own stadium, the opponent will be determined on Monday at the draw in Nyon. Possible opponents are PAOK Thessaloniki with the ex-Rapidlern Stefan Schwab and Thomas Murg, the Danish Club Randers with the Austrian Simon Piesinger and even Tottenham, should the English win their match against Rennes, which was postponed on Thursday.
Immediately after the final whistle, Feldhofer didn’t really deal with potential opponents, the hard-won win against Genk had too much of an effect. “I’m happy for the club, the fans and the team. The players worked hard, they haven’t had the easiest time, ”said the 42-year-old.
Rapid remains international
Thanks to a 1-0 win over Genk, Rapid managed to switch from Europe to the Conference League on the last day of the match. Robert Ljubicic took care of the gold goal in Belgium.
“Made it with dedication and struggle”
The Rapidler have played 32 competition games since mid-July, more than any other local club. The signs of wear are becoming increasingly noticeable. For example with Taxiarchis Fountas, who had to pass in Genk but is probably ready for action against Admira on Sunday. Ercan Kara received a blow and had to be replaced before the break, his involvement in the Südstadt is questionable.
“A few players have a few thousand minutes in their bodies, so we have a few failures,” said Feldhofer. He also named the high stresses of the past few months as one of the reasons for the relapse after switching sides. “Besides, Genk had nothing more to lose, tried everything, punched the balls from everywhere. But we did it with great dedication and struggle, ”said Feldhofer.
Playfully strong before the break
Before the break, Rapid had a lot more to offer than just fighting spirit. “We were brave, dominant and had opportunities. We could have led higher than 1-0. That’s why the win is okay because of the first half, ”summarized Feldhofer. “We wanted to be brave, attack high and bring a high mileage to the field. We succeeded in doing that, and you can be proud of that. “
Robert Ljubicic provided the decisive goal for the Hütteldorfer, and that in front of his brother Dejan of all places. The ex-Rapid captain, who is now employed by 1. FC Köln, was in the stadium in Genk. “I dedicate the goal to him too,” said Robert Ljubicic, speaking of the most important goal in his young career. “That gave us a lot of energy.”
Ljubicic also described the Rapid success as deserved. “We were very active in the first 25 minutes and scored the goal at the right time. We were a bit lower in the second half, but we didn’t allow many chances, ”said the 22-year-old midfielder.
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Europa League: Rapid feels “great relief”