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Rapid bow out with Metalist win

SK Rapid Wien 1-0 FC Metalist Kharkiv
Deni Alar's early goal ensured that eliminated ten-man Rapid had the consolation of ending their run of defeats against the Group K winners.

Jonathan Cristaldo (right) challenges Rapid's Thomas Schrammel
Jonathan Cristaldo (right) challenges Rapid's Thomas Schrammel ©AFP/Getty Images

SK Rapid Wien ended their UEFA Europa League record losing run with a 1-0 victory over Group K winners FC Metalist Kharkiv.

Whereas Metalist, unbeaten all season in Europe before tonight, had already secured progress in first place, a still point-less Rapid were resigned to elimination – having equalled PFC CSKA Sofia's unenviable UEFA Europa League all-time low of eight successive group stage defeats. However, Deni Alar's early goal ensured ten-man Rapid did not suffer a ninth straight reverse despite a strong Metalist rearguard action.

The deadlock was broken on 13 minutes when Christopher Trimmel's cross was turned in by Alar. Another Trimmel delivery soon after was met by a Guido Burgstaller header that was tipped around the post by visiting keeper Olexandr Goryainov, who also did well to keep out an Alar free-kick. Just before half-time, Rapid were down to ten men when Harald Pichler was dimissed for a foul on Willian.

After the restart Metalist pushed hard to preserve their unbeaten record but the closest they came was an 81st-minute Willian effort curled onto the inside of the post. The clean sheet was a consolation for Rapid, who conceded 14 goals in the group, the joint most this season. Metalist, though, can look forward to the 20 December round of 32 draw, with seeding guaranteed.

 

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