Regionalliga Salzburg Matchday 30: Salzburger AK 1914 vs. FC Pinzgau Saalfelden
May 27 2022 (19:00 CET), HCS Arena Nonntal
Salzburger Athletiksport Klub are the oldest club in Salzburg, having been founded on 24 June 1914. They were the dominant force in the region in the interwar period, becoming state champions 15 years in a row between 1924 and 1938. But after WW2, their superiority waned and their successes became more spread out. They did reach the Austrian top flight three times (in 1953, 1962 and 1986), but were immediately relegated on each occasion.
After almost going bankrupt in 1991, SAK found themselves down in the fifth tier. But they have gradually climbed back up through the pyramid and returned to the third division in 2018/19. They were promotion contenders in their first season, though their aspirations were dashed – by a combination of the pandemic and infrastructural problems – and they have spent more time in the bottom half of the table than the top half in the last two seasons.
FC Pinzgau Saalfelden coach Christian Ziege will be short of options in midfield, with the duo of Hasan Ibrahimi and Eren Aydinhan still sidelined with injury problems, while David Rathgeb and Joao Pedro are on the road to recovery but are not yet ready to return to competitive action. Defender Denis Kahrimanovic must serve the last match of his three-game ban, but fellow central defender Alessandro Ziege is available again after a suspension of his own.
Petrit Nika, who scored nine times during the regular season and has bagged seven more goals since the winter break, is the one of the main danger men for Salzburger AK. But they are by no means a one-man band, with Sebastian Hölzl and Dominik Prötsch contributing six and five goals respectively this spring. Also watch out for Stefan Federer, a key cog at the heart of midfield, and centre-back Daniel Raischl, who used to ply his trade in Saalfelden.
FCPS have struggled for consistency this spring but despite a mixed run of results – a win, a draw and a defeat in their last three matches – the Mountainous Pine Blues remain only three points behind league leaders Seekirchen. Four points and two places behind our boys in the table are Salzburger AK, who are among the most in-form teams in the division over the last four rounds of matches: the men from Nonntal have taken nine points from a possible 12 and risen from second-bottom to fifth place during that period.
FC Pinzgau have their noses in front in this fixture, with nine victories, six draws and seven defeats from their previous 22 meetings. SAK are also the only team the Mountainous Pine Blues beat twice in the regular season: Ziege’s men won 3-2 at home in August, before triumphing 2-1 at the HCS-Arena Nonntal – their only away win of the campaign to date – in October. But the reverse fixture this spring at the Saalfelden Arena ended in a 3-2 win for SAK.