AMSTERDAM – Wiener Neustadt midfielder Conor O'Brien enjoyed a monster outing as the Austrian basement dwellers revived their survival hopes with as 2-0 victory over visiting Europa League chasers Wolfsberger AC on Wednesday night.
The New York native was involved in positive actions in virtually every area of the pitch, helping the hosts record a 19-9 shots advantage despite ceding 58 percent of the ball in the match. In addition to leading all players with four tackles and four pass interceptions to routinely spring the Blau und Weiß counter attack, O'Brien took the desperate occasion to pull the trigger on a game-high six shots.
After O'Brien saw his effort from near the spot well-blocked in the 19th minute, the American began setting up his cannon from long range. Just past the half-hour mark, his blast from distance was shoved out of the bottom corner. He would later buzz the frame from 25 yards and have a second rocket kept out of the corner by a diving save in the span of four early second-half minutes.
On top of all that, O'Brien worked without a foul while adding five clearances. The win, Wiener Neustadt's first in 11 games, lifted the club to within three points of the last safety slot with two games left to play.
Over in Armenia's Premier League, Cesar Romero scored the opener as FC Pyunik raised the crown with a 3-1 home triumph over Gandzasar.
The former Chivas USA forward applied the finish to a lightning break after just three minutes for his 20th goal of the season. The strike pulled Romero level with Shirak's Jean-Jacques Bougouhi in the race for the league scoring title.
He also boosted his total across all competitions to 25, joining Jozy Altidore and Aron Johannsson as the only Americans to reach the quarter-century mark in a single European top-flight campaign.
For Pyunik, the championship was the 14th in club history and first since 2010. By virtue of celebrating the title, the Phoenix earned a ticket to the Champions League first qualifying round.