Austria international striker ROLAND LINZ and his FK Austria Vienna teammates had their share of chances, particularly in the first half, against FC Aris Thessaloniki at the Kleanthis Veikelidis Stadium in Greece. (krone.at photo)
UEFA Europa League
Playoff round, first leg
1 – FC Aris Thessaloniki (GRE) —— Ruiz 90+3′
0 – FK Austria Vienna (AUT)
The all-time leading goal-scorer for the national team of Guatemala, CARLOS RUIZ, struck in injury time to propel FC ARIS THESSALONIKI to a victory over FK AUSTRIA VIENNA by the mininum scoreline in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League playoff round.
The second half substitute Ruiz, an off-season arrival from Mexican club FC Puebla, ran onto a ball headed down in the box by the FC Aris Thessaloniki captain, Spanish striker KOKE, and shot through the legs of FK Austria Vienna goalkeeper HEINZ LINDNER.
Ruiz, whose nickname is El Pescadito (The Little Fish), should be familiar to true football fans in the United States having spent seven seasons in Major League Soccer playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy, FC Dallas and FC Toronto while scoring 82 goals in 155 league matches.
FK Austria Vienna was perhaps unlucky to not get something from the game, as symbolized by the header which hit the crossbar before the halftime break.
FC Aris Thessaloniki’s World Cup goalkeeper MICHALIS SIFAKIS, a reserve in South Africa and the only Greek player in the starting XI for the home side, pulled off three critical saves to help set the stage for the late heroics.
FC ARIS THESSALONIKI : Sifakis ; Michel, Oriol, Ronald Guiaro, Neto ; Javito, Toja (Prittas 78′), Nafti, Cesnauskis (Mendrinos 60′) ; Koke, Cesarec (Ruiz 63′)
FK AUSTRIA VIENNA : Lindner ; Klein, Dragovic, Margreitter, Suttner ; Vorisek, Baumgartlinger, Hlinka, Liendl (Leovac 71′) ; Linz (Schumacher 89′), Jun (Stankovic 80′)