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Prolific Falcao wins Group L for Porto

SK Rapid Wien 1-3 FC Porto
Falcao shot to the top of the scorers' standings with a hat-trick as Porto wrapped up Group L and confirmed Rapid's elimination.

Conditions were difficult for João Moutinho (left) and Rapid goalscorer Christopher Trimmel
Conditions were difficult for João Moutinho (left) and Rapid goalscorer Christopher Trimmel ©Getty Images

Falcao continued his prolific run of form in the UEFA Europa League by scoring a hat-trick as FC Porto wrapped up Group L and confirmed SK Rapid Wien's elimination at a snow-covered Ernst-Happel-Stadion.

Needing to better Beşiktaş JK's result away to PFC CSKA Sofia to retain hope, Rapid edged in front six minutes before the break through Christopher Trimmel. Falcao soon restored parity to maintain his record of scoring in every group game so far. Two late goals for the Colombia striker gave him the outright lead in the top scorers' standings with seven.

The visitors suffered a setback when goalkeeper Beto, set to make only his second appearance this season, suffered an injury in the warm-up, prompting Helton to step up from the bench. The Porto No1 was called into action when he impressively repelled René Gartler's header, but André Villas-Boas's team delivered a swift riposte with Falcao forcing a sharp save from Raimund Hedl and Hulk being denied soon after by the keeper's legs.

Despite the incessant snowfall, the match was slowly coming to the boil and moments after Nicolás Otamendi's block thwarted Christoph Saurer, Rapid took the lead. Otamendi's attempted clearance caused Helton to fumble and Trimmel hooked in the loose ball.

Porto showed why they are unbeaten in all competitions this term by equalising three minutes later, Falcao taking advantage of Ragnvald Soma's failure to intercept Otamendi's long ball and easily beating Hedl. The Colombian international also tested the Rapid goalkeeper within seconds of the restart, before Ukra − on at half-time − cleverly fashioned space to bring Hedl into action once more.

Porto edged in front four minutes from time, Falcao capitalising on a mistake from Hedl. He swiftly completed his treble after the Rapid No1 had saved Hulk's shot from distance with his legs.