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Rapid rally halts Lokomotiv charge

SK Rapid Wien 1-1 FC Lokomotiv Moskva Jozef Vláhovič's late penalty cancels out Aleksandr Samedov's opener.

Penalty equaliser
The Russian champions got off to a flying start away to their Austrian counterparts when Aleksandr Samedov gave them the lead just ten minutes in. However, Jozef Vláhovič responded for the hosts with 15 minutes remaining when he converted his side's equaliser from the penalty spot after Lokomotiv's André Stéphane Bikey had been sent off for a second bookable offence.

Swift counterattack
The visitors began brighter at the Gerhard Hanappi stadium in Vienna and took only ten minutes to break the deadlock, going ahead with a classic counterattack. Igor Lebedenko created a perfect chance for Samedov whose shot gave Rapid goalkeeper Helge Payer no chance and went in off a post.

Lokomotiv on top
Marek Kincl had a good opportunity for the Austrian team after 20 minutes but otherwise it was Lokomotiv who were making all the running with Diniyar Bilyaletdinov's free-kick almost doubling their advantage after 28 minutes. Early in the second half Samedov and Vladimir Maminov missed chances to extend Lokomotiv's lead.

Rapid rally
However, midway through the second period Rapid started to rally and twice Muhammet Akagündüz went close with his head while Lokomotiv goalkeeper Sergei Ovchinnikov saved a free-kick from Rapid captain Steffen Hofmann. Andreas Ivanschitz then fired wide when well placed to score.

Vláhovič conversion
An equaliser looked on the cards and it duly arrived with 15 minutes remaining as Bikey picked up his second yellow card for fouling Akagündüz in the penalty area. Vláhovič made no mistake from the spot, but the same player spurned an opportunity to win it and there was still time for Hofmann to strike a post from 30 metres.

Late pressure
Lokomotiv could have snatched it at the end as well with Payer saving well from Samedov and Maminov while Lebedenko hit the woodwork. Bilyaletdinov also missed the target by a whisker in a stirring finish. Lokomotiv - keen to respond to city rivals CSKA who became the first Russian club to win a European trophy when they lifted the UEFA Cup in May - nevertheless have the slight edge with a precious away goal ahead of the second leg in Moscow on 23 August.