Rapid Vienna 4
Dundalk despite the scoreline put in a very good and acquitted themselves very well despite going down – with an almighty fight to Rapid Vienna.
Despite a Chris Shields inspired battle two late goals for the home side put the nail in coffin despite a spirited comeback and a late goal in added-on time. The three points went to the home side. In an action-packed night, it has to be said …what could have been had certain chances gone in?
Dundalk made six changes to the side that lost to Arsenal last week with Aaron McCarey making his European debut replacing the experienced Gary Rogers.
Sean Hoare, Darragh Leahy, Jordan Flores, Sean Gannon and Greg Sloggett also came into the side. As Filippo Giovagnoli used the full extent of the squad at his disposal.
The formation before tonight’s match was widely debated but it seemed that Filippo Giovagnoli would engage the same type of formation to that he deployed against Arsenal. With three centre backs with Gannon and Leahy working as wing-backs to complement a midfield three of Slogget, Shields and Flores. Michael Duffy would be deployed in a more advanced role to partner Hoban upfront.
Dundalk and Vienna started the game brightly and looked to take the game to the hosts. Patrick Hoban had a half-chance when a Jordan Flores free-kick was sent into the area but it was well saved.
Dundalk did get the breakthrough moments later when Sean Gannon in an advanced role played the ball back brilliantly to Chris Shields whose cross was met by Patrick Hoban who nodded the ball goalward and Paul Gartler did get a hand to it but it went into the back of the net. The perfect start for Dundalk.
Christoph Knasmüllner nearly responded with a header that flashed past McCarey as Vienna was getting some success working down the left-hand side. Dundalk continued to attack as did Vienna as it seemed the two sides would trade blows to find out the chinks in the armour.
Vienna equalised after a clearance from Leahy was recycled back to Dejan Ljubičić and his strike was excellent placed and it went into the top of the net to equalise. McCarey was outstretched but could do nothing to stop the powerful shot.
Dundalk had an excellent opportunity to get back in the lead when a break and quick movement involving Hoban, Shields and Flores to fed the ball to Michael Duffy who cut into his right foot but the shot was low and curling and was blocked by Gartler.
Deni Alar had an excellent chance to put the home side ahead after a cross was sent into the area Alar had a free header despite the attentions of Andy Boyle but it went wide of McCarey’s front post. Christoph Knasmüllner had another fine opportunity to score when he hit the volley from an initial corner and McCarey did brilliantly to save.
The second half saw Rapid Vienna take the game to the visitors with a series of attacks from set-pieces. Dundalk despite playing deep did well to cover and maintain their defensive shape.
There was a break in play as Mateo Barać broke his nose following a clash with his keeper as they defended a corner. Dundalk had an excellent chance moments later when Jordan Flores from a free-kick to the back post and with Daniel Cleary and Andy Boyle attacking the ball but Gartler eventually gathers. Vienna responded with Knasmüllner cutting onto his favoured left foot but McCarey was equal to the low shot.
He was on hand again to have another shot on goal but his curling effort is well blocked down, seconds later Michael Duffy is clear on goal but his shot flashed just wide, Duffy in the goal attempt appeared to have hurt his ankle. While the stretcher was called for Duffy shook off the initial injury and continued with the play.
Kohya Kitagawa had a fantastic opportunity to seal the tie for Rapid Vienna when he broke the offside trap and his shot hit the side netting with McCarey at full stretch. Rapid Vienna got their second an initial excellent save from McCarey saw the ball fall to Kelvin Arase who headed it into an empty net.
Dundalk responded excellently when Nathan Oduwa fed the to McMillan and he was felled in the box and the referee called a penalty. McMillan dusted himself off and despite getting a hand to it McMillan slotted it to the bottom right-hand corner.
Dundalk sensing the impetus kept the pressure on the home side and from a corner, Greg Slogett went inches from nabbing a lead but his header flashed wide.
It was Vienna who got the lead seconds later when a short corner sent the ball into Maximilian Hofmann who was under pressure with the onrushing McCarey towered over him and it headed it into the back of the net.
As Dundalk pushed for an equaliser it left gaps in the back and Yusuf Demir added a fourth right on the stroke of ninety minutes and it dealt the knock out blow.
Dundalk did have the last say in the game when Nathan Oduwa was felled in added-on time, McMillan scored but it would be Sloggetts chances they would rue on the flight home.
In reality, though, you have to almost perfect at this level to defend quality opposition. It was a game that could have swung either way, Vienna got the rub of the green in the end.
Rapid Wien: 25 Paul Gartler, 22 Filip Stojković, 20 Maximilian Hofmann, 4 Mateo Barać (6 Mario Sonnleitner 53 mins), 13 Thorsten Schick, 39 Dejan Ljubičić, 28 Christoph Knasmüllner (48 Yusuf Demir. 71 mins), 16 Dejan Petrovič, 31 Maximilian Ullmann, 29 Deni Alar, 36 Kelvin Arase.
Rapid Subs: 1 Richard Strebinger, 45 Niklas Held, 14 Srđan Grahovac, 19 Deni Alar, 30 Leo Greiml, 32 Kohya Kitagawa, 37 Lukas Sulzbacher, 40 Melih Ibrahimoglu, 48 Yusuf Demir.
Dundalk: 20 Aaron McCarey, 4 Sean Hoare, 21 Daniel Cleary, 44 Andy Boyle, 15 Darragh Leahy (23 Cameron Dummigan 65 Mins), 5 Chris Shields, 6 Jordan Flores (16 Sean Murray 75 Mins), 2 Sean Gannon (8 John Mountney 64 Mins), 10 Greg Sloggett, 7 Michael Duffy (17 Nathan Oduwa 71 mins), 9 Patrick Hoban (29 David McMillan 75 Mins).
Dundalk Subs: 1 Gary Rogers, 30 Jimmy Corcoran, 3 Brian Gartland, 22 Stefan Colovic, 24 Jamie Wynne, 27 Daniel Kelly.
By Ciarán Callan