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Shakhtar advance after surviving Rapid storm

Shakhtar 2-2 Rapid (agg: 3-2)
The hosts were pushed all the way but did enough to edge out the visitors, who were left to rue squandered late chances.

Highlights: Shakhtar Donetsk 2-2 Rapid Wien
  • Marlos and Olexandr Gladkiy strikes enough to send Shakhtar through 
  • Louis Schaub and Steffen Hofmann had Rapid ahead on away goals by 22nd minute
  • Philipp Prosenik hits post in added time for visitors
  • Pitmen into group stage for sixth successive year
  • Group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday at 17.45CET

Rapid Wien gave Shakhtar Donetsk a huge fright in Lviv but the Ukrainian group stage regulars did just enough to oust the visitors from the UEFA Champions League in the play-offs.

When Marlos's second goal of the tie flew into the net on ten minutes the contest looked over, but Rapid – defeated 1-0 in Vienna last week – rose to the challenge and were on track to progress after Louis Schaub and Steffen Hofmann scored in the space of ten minutes. However, Olexandr Gladkiy nudged into the net before the interval to restore the Shakhtar advantage and secure the Pitmen qualification for a sixth successive season despite added-time drama.

It was fireworks from the off in Lviv and the home side went ahead as Alex Teixeira was denied by Ján Novota only for Marlos to collect the loose ball outside the area, shimmy past two men and curl beautifully into the corner with his left boot.

Rapid celebrate after going into a 22nd-minute lead
Rapid celebrate after going into a 22nd-minute lead©AFP/Getty Images

The lead lasted only three minutes as Schaub was picked out in the area and the Rapid forward headed in after an initial shot deflected into the air. The home crowd were silenced again when visiting captain Hofmann stepped up to dink a free-kick from the edge of the box delightfully over the wall to put Shakhtar behind on away goals.

The roller-coaster first half went on and Mircea Lucescu's men wrested control once again. Gladkiy – a day after his 28th birthday – steered past Novota from close range after Darijo Srna's deep cross from the right made its way to the back post.

In contrast to the first period, in the second caution overrode attacking instincts. Shakhtar closed ranks and when Rapid's Mario Sonnleitner was shown a second yellow card to handicap Zoran Barisic's team, the visitors' chances looked over. However, in the 90th minute Robert Berić headed a gilt-edged opportunity wide when completely unmarked before Philipp Prosenik crashed an effort against the post in the 95th minute, permitting Shakhtar to breathe a huge sigh of relief. 

Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
We have progressed but I'm not satisfied with our performance, especially in the second half. We had lots of opportunities but lacked the killler pass in the final third. To be honest, I don't think I have had so much luck in my entire career – they could have scored twice [in the last ten minutes]. I hope we will be more focused in the group stage.

Zoran Barisic, Rapid Wien coach
Firstly, I would like to congratulate Shakhtar on their success. It's a harsh result for us, but I'm proud of my team and our supporters. We did our best to achieve our aim but luck was not on our side in the end. We are a young and talented side – we'll try to learn from this.