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Salzburg Regional League Matchday 12: FC Pinzgau Saalfelden 0-1 SV Grödig

Saalfelden, October 3 2020

FC Pinzgau Saalfelden suffered their first home defeat since mid-August as they were beaten 1-0 by a resurgent SV Grödig side at the Saalfelden Arena. Valdrin Kadrija opened the scoring on the half-hour mark and the Mountainous Pine Blues could not find a way back into the game despite a much-improved performance in the second period.

The Scenario

FCPS were looking to achieve their first back-to-back wins of the season, having beaten bottom club SV Wals-Grünau in midweek thanks to Lukas Schubert’s late winner. SVG, meanwhile, had taken nine points from their previous four games to move off the foot of the table.

The Action

With a combination of illness (Lukas Schubert) and injury (Denis Kahrimanovic, Alexander Gadenstätter, Raphael Streitwieser and Oliver Valentine) ruling out a number of the key players, it was a new-look FCPS side that took the field. Captain and striker Tamas Tandari dropped back into defence to play alongside Daniel Raischl, with Alfusainey Jatta pushing forward into central midfield and Lukas Moosmann leading the line in Tandari’s stead. In total, head coach Christian Ziege made four changes to the team, who lined up in a 4-3-3 formation. His opposite number Heimo Pfeifenberger also made four changes to the side that was beaten 4-2 at home by SV Seekirchen last week, with Michael Pletschacher, Dejan Janjic, Daniel Vucanovic and Mamadou Diallo making way for Petrit Nika, Niklas Preslmayr, Florian Schöberl and Kadrija.

SV Grödig began on the front foot and came extremely close to taking the lead from a set-piece in the third minute, only for the outstretched fingertips of Stipo Colic to turn Felix Hebesberger’s strike onto the upright. FCPS struck the woodwork themselves only four minutes later when Harry Cooksley met Alessandro Ziege’s cross from the left flank with a header that unfortunately rebounded back off the post.

Tandari had largely slotted in seamlessly to his unfamiliar role at the centre of defence, but there was a heart-stopping moment in the 27th minute when he was charged down and dispossessed by Nika. Fortunately, Colic was quick off his line to challenge the Kosovan forward and thwart the danger – although he took a hefty knock in the process. But there was little the Croatian custodian could do four minutes later when Patrick Schober skipped past several FCPS players in the box before teeing up Kadrija for an open goal.

Having gone in a goal down at the break, the Mountainous Pine Blues stepped up the intensity after the interval and looked lively in the opening stages of the second half: David Rathgeb dragged an effort from the edge of the box wide in the 55th minute and Jonas Schwaighofer saw a rather convincing penalty appeal waved away two minutes later. The visitors largely retreated into defensive mode in a bid to protect their lead, but could have doubled their advantage on 64 minutes when Robert Völkl’s diving header flew inches wide.

An injury to Daniel Raischl in the 76th minute prompted an attack-minded substitution, with Semir Gvozdjar entering the fray in his place, but neither he nor Alessandro Ziege could find the net from promising positions in the final minutes as SVG held firm and condemned the hosts to their sixth defeat of a difficult campaign.

Ziege’s charges now have a full week to recover and prepare for their next match, which takes place on Saturday 10 October (17:00 CET) when SV Seekirchen visit the Saalfelden Arena.

Starting Line-Ups

FC Pinzgau Saalfelden: Colic, Ziege, Tandari, Raischl, Mühlbacher, Schwaighofer, Jatta, Kirschner, Cooksley, Moosmann, Fürstaller

SV Grödig: Zankl, Vincetic, Völkl, Schober, Nika, Erdogan, Preslmayr, Schöberl, Kadrija, Jukic, Hebesberger