Late Hofmann strike serves up first points

Rapid Vienna beat Red Bull Salzburg thanks to a last minute goal, but a strong midfield was the key to glory yesterday (Sun).The home team performed much better than in the first two Bundesliga rounds in which they suffered bitter defeats against Wacker Innsbruck and Magna Wiener Neustadt.Christoph Saurer scored the opener in the 49th minute to the delight of most of the Rapid fans in the sold out Gerhard Hanappi Stadium. The midfielder, who joined Rapid from LASK Linz ahead of this season, was sprayed with beer and verbally abused by some supporters over his Austria Vienna past.Saurer and Finnish ace Markus Heikkinen led a brilliant Rapid midfield in yesterday’s clash with the champions, while ex-Austria Kärnten star Thomas Hinum proved to be in better form than Yasin Pehlivan. Captain Steffen Hofmann’s 93rd-minute goal was only the icing on the cake.National team midfielder Jakob Jantscher equalised for the “Bulls” (62’) only seven minutes after he came on for Slovakian Dusan Svento. Red Bull’s new signing David Mendes da Silva was the only midfielder of the away side delivering a good performance in yesterday’s top match in which the “Bulls” only had a handful of chances to score.Rapid’s current problems – an insecure centre-back (Jürgen Patocka) and some players lacking form (Hamdi Salihi, Nikica Jelavic, Markus Katzer) were also apparent yesterday despite the 2-1 win.Rumours that Jelavic is on his way out before the summer transfer window shuts on 31 August are increasing. Rapid bosses are reportedly ready to sell the Croatian national team star if a club willing to cough up four million Euros gets in touch. Blackburn Rovers, Everton FC and Glasgow Rangers are allegedly eyeing a purchase. Slovenian free agent Klemen Lavric is handled as a replacement. The former Hajduk Split striker failed to agree with Sturm Graz bosses over an extension of his contract after last season.Rapid supporters were not only delighted by the late but deserved victory against the champions, but also by the performance of a squirrel running all over the pitch for around three minutes shortly after the match began.Magna Wiener Neustadt, the club headed and financed by Austrian-Canadian businessman Frank Stronach, stays top in the Bundesliga despite a goalless draw against Austria Vienna yesterday.The match between promoted team Wacker Innsbruck and Sturm Graz ended 2-2. Marcel Schreter is expected to be called up by national team boss Dietmar Constantini for the 11 August friendly against Switzerland after scoring both goals for the home side.SV Mattersburg and LASK Linz remain the league’s tail-lights after defeats against Kapfenberg (3-1 against Mattersburg) and SV Ried (1-0 against LASK) on Saturday.The Austrian Bundesliga table after three rounds:Magna Wiener Neustadt, 7 pointsSturm Graz, 7Austria Vienna, 7SV Ried, 6Wacker Innsbruck, 4Kapfenberg, 4Rapid Vienna, 3Red Bull Salzburg, 1LASK Linz, 0SV Mattersburg, 0