Rapid title dreams suffer setback as ‘Bulls’ win in Vienna

Red Bull Salzburg have extended their lead in the Bundesliga after beating second-placed Rapid Vienna by a score of 1-0 yesterday (Sun).Defender Rabiu Afolabi found the net in the 67th minute after a corner in front of 17,500 fans at the sold out Gerhard Hanappi Stadium in Vienna.This victory came just three days after the team of Huub Stevens crashed out in the Europa League against Belgian champions Standard Liege.Champions Red Bull are now five points ahead of Rapid as the vice champions only garnered one point in three matches after the winter break.Rapid captain Steffen Hofmann said: “Salzburg had one chance to score and they did. We cannot be satisfied with our start into the second part of the season winning just one of nine possible points.”The good news of the day for the Rapid fans was the announcement that Hofmann has signed a new three-year contract with the club. The 29-year-old German, who was rumoured to leave for Spain or England, will stay at Rapid until 2013.Hofmann, who joined Rapid from Bayern Munich, played 265 matches for the 2008 league champions.Austria Vienna meanwhile failed to narrow the gap to table-topping Red Bull as the team reached just a 1-1 draw against Mattersburg on Friday.Austria Kärnten seems to be certain to go down this season after losing to Kapfenberg 0-1 yesterday.Magna Wiener Neustadt celebrated a 1-0 away victory against Ried, while Sturm Graz beat LASK Linz 2-1.THE BUNDESLIGA TABLE AFTER 22 ROUNDS:Red Bull Salzburg, 48 pointsAustria Vienna, 43Rapid Vienna, 42Sturm Graz, 39SV Ried, 28Magna Wiener Neustadt, 28Mattersburg, 27Kapfenberg, 22LASK Linz, 21Austria Kärnten, 7