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Dublin: 5°C Saturday 16 January 2021
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Dundalk 1-3 Rapid Vienna

Hello, and welcome to this evening’s liveblog.

Having lost all three of their matches so far, Dundalk’s hopes of reaching the competition’s knockout stages appear slim.

They may even play tonight with half an eye on Sunday’s FAI Cup semi-final against Athlone.

Yet even if it proves irrelevant in terms of progression, a win would certainly be a welcome morale boost at this stage of the season for the Irish side.

And victory seems far from impossible. Arguably their best performance of this year’s European campaign so far came in the reverse fixture away in Austria.

Though they were ultimately beaten 4-3, Filippo Giovagnoli’s men were unfortunate not to take any points from the game.

Tonight, they will be hoping for a better outcome, with a win taking them level of points in the group with tonight’s opponents.

Who do you think will win tonight?


Poll Results:

Dundalk (204)
Rapid Vienna (193)
Draw (84)



In case you’re wondering about the other game in this group, it’s finished Molde 0-3 Arsenal.

That means the Gunners are now assured of a place in the knockout stages.

Confirmation of the Dundalk starting XI…

And here’s how Rapid Vienna line up tonight…

We’re underway…

Rapid Vienna have tried to play it out from the back, but they’ve looked less than assured doing so in the opening stages.

The goalkeeper Gartler has just passed it straight to Michael Duffy to put his side under pressure.

Knassmullner squares it to Fountas, whose shot from the edge of the area goes just wide.

The visitors are starting to look a bit more threatening now.

There’s an early booking for Grahovac.

He sees yellow for a cynical, late tackle on Shields.

Dundalk go behind and it’s due to a spectacular effort.

The ball is played to Knasmullner, who receives far too much space on the edge of the area and he capitalises with a stunning strike that finds the top corner.

Shields misplaces a pass straight to Fountas.

The attacker’s subsequent powerful effort from about 30 yards out is parried away by Rogers.

Moments later, down the other end, Duffy tests the opposition goalkeeper with a low drive.

Another half chance for Dundalk.

Dunnigan’s curling cross narrowly eludes McMillan.

Aside from the concession of that goal, the League of Ireland team have made a decent start to this game.

christoph-knasmullner-scores-their-first-goal-past-goalkeeper-gary-rogers Rapid's Christoph Knasmullner scores their first goal past Dundalk goalkeeper Gary Rogers. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Rogers has to be alert again.

Kara’s free kick from about 25 yards out takes a deflection and the Dundalk goalkeeper has to tip it behind for a corner.

After a good start, Dundalk have been second best in recent minutes.

Rapid have dominated possession and controlled the play.

As I type, Sloggett finds himself in a promising position just outside the box, but he plays a sloppy pass to no one.

Rapid double their advantage and it’s a poor goal from a Dundalk perspective.

Schick is afforded far too much space on the right and his inch-perfect cross finds Kara, who heads home unmarked.

The Dundalk defending was non-existent there.

Dundalk appear to have switched formation

They have gone from three at the back to a 4-2-3-1.

So it’s half-time and the Austrians are in control here.

Dundalk had a couple of decent attacking moments in that first half, but overall, Rapid Vienna have just been a level above.

The visitors’ passing has been sharper and they’ve showed greater composure in the final third, while they’ve been helped by some suspect Dundalk defending.

The Irish side need a goal quickly to get back in this game. So far, they have not tested their opponents to the same extent that they did in the reverse fixture.

Oduwa, McEleney and Daniel Kelly are all on for Dundalk. Hoare, McMillan and Colovic are off.

The second half is underway

PENALTY FOR DUNDALK!

It’s a howler from Barac.

He tries to play out from the back and ends up tripping Kelly.

Dundalk already look far better in this second half.

The changes have made an impact and they’re playing in a far more positive fashion.

Rapid Vienna now make a change.

Arase replaces Ibrahimoglu.

There’s another nervy moment at the back for Dundalk, as Boyle and Rogers both go for the same ball.

The communication could have been better there, but they eventually clear their lines at least.

That looks like game, set and match.

Rapid hit Dundalk on the counter. Kara takes one touch on the edge of the area before curling an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net for his second and the away side’s third of the night.

Duffy’s low cross finds Sloggett, who lays it to Kelly.

However, the winger blazes it over from the edge of the area.

PENALTY FOR DUNDALK!

It’s a sloppy challenge from Grahovac, who takes down Oduwa in the box.

Dundalk’s skipper Shields makes no mistake from the spot this time, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.

That’s definitely deserved, as Dundalk have been a far greater threat going forward in this half.

Kitagawa and Schuster replace Kara and Fountas, as Rapid make more changes.

They’re just under a bit of pressure here and will feel they need to calm the Dundalk storm a bit.

Another change for Dundalk.

Sean Murray replaces Greg Sloggett.

It’s just got a little bit scrappy in recent minutes, with neither side really threatening.

The ball breaks to Kitagawa inside the area, after an excellent last-ditch challenge from Gannon.

Rogers does well to tip the attacker’s deflected shot away.

Rapid Vienna have stepped it up in recent minutes and are dominating the game again.

Dummigan’s cross is just too high for the onrushing Murray and the goalkeeper gathers it.

Dundalk may have been second best in the first half, but they’ve certainly matched their opponents since the break.

As I type, more change take place.

For Rapid, Demir is on for Knasmullner.

And for Dundalk, Leahy replaces Dummigan.

Kelly’s deflected shot is saved by Gartler.

Of all the changes, McEleney has looked particularly impressive and would surely have had a greater role in this season’s campaign were it not for bad luck with injuries.

He’s given Dundalk a bit more guile in midfield since the break and started off the aforementioned attack.

There will be three minutes of stoppage time…

nathan-oduwa-dejected-after-missing-a-penalty Dundalk's Nathan Oduwa dejected after missing a penalty. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Cleary plays a lofted through ball to Oduwa.

However, the attacker is slightly off balance as hits the bouncing ball off target.

Moments later, Duffy pulls a cross back to Oduwa after breaking down the left, but the Dundalk substitute hits it just over again. He’ll certainly feel he should have scored at least once tonight.

So that’s that. After a slow, error-ridden, lacklustre first half, Dundalk were much better after the break.

Ultimately, they couldn’t fully recover from the mistakes in the opening period.

However, the introduction of Oduwa, McEleney and Kelly appeared to give Dundalk a new lease of life, and they were unlucky not to score more than once in the second half.

It’s another loss though, and with Arsenal still to come, Dundalk will likely be looking at that Molde game as their only remaining realistic chance of picking up points.

patrick-mceleney-cameron-dummigan-and-chris-shields-dejected-after-rapid-scored-their-third-goal Dundalk's Patrick McEleney, Cameron Dummigan and Chris Shields dejected after Rapid scored their third goal. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

We’ll have more reaction to follow.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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