Cheering in Liechtenstein, mourning in Austria. FC Vaduz have duped the traditional club Rapid Vienna and after a 1-0 away win has moved into the group stage of the Conference League. After the 1-1 draw in the first leg, Tunahan Cicek’s goal in the 22nd minute was enough to make Liechtenstein’s dream come true and plunge Hütteldorfer into depression.
“I believe that Vaduz has deservedly been promoted. Our performance over 180 minutes didn’t fit,” said former Bundesliga professional Guido Burgstaller of “Krone”. After a red card because of an emergency brake, Rapid had to play outnumbered for a long time against ex-Cologne player Kevin Wimmer (35th).
“The red card was very bad for the course of the game, but you had the impression from the start that we couldn’t put enough pressure on it. It’s just disappointing,” Wimmer said of his team’s poor performance, which was acknowledged by the supporters with a loud whistling concert. Some fans even besieged the stadium’s VIP area to confront those responsible.
At FC Vaduz, on the other hand, there was boundless joy after a Liechtenstein representative made it into the European Cup for the first time. “We created the sensation, we wrote history. We can be happy about that,” said former Rapid player Kristijan Dobras. And coach Alessandro Mangiarratti promised to “give away a few beers”. In the previous rounds, Vaduz had eliminated Slovenian representative FC Koper and Turkish club Konyaspor.
Dobras is also hoping for a positive effect for his club: “Maybe we woke up a few people by moving into the Conference League and then 20 or 30 more people will come to the home game next Sunday.” Vaduz plays in the second Swiss league, the Around 1,500 spectators attend home games.
The rapid embarrassment is not the first in Austrian football. The national team lost 1-0 to the Faroe Islands in 1990. And ten years ago, then-champion RB Salzburg failed to qualify for the Champions League against F91 Dudelingen from Luxembourg.
This season RB Salzburg are represented in the Champions League, Sturm Graz in the Europa League and Austria Wien in the Conference League from Austria. Wolfsberger AC missed out on a place in the third-tier European competition on Thursday after beating Molde (Norway) 4-0.