Vienna upset Kharkiv
Ten-man Rapid Vienna belatedly broke their Europa League duck as Deni Alar's first-half strike secured an upset over Metalist Kharkiv.
Last Updated: 06/12/12 10:50pm
Ten-man Rapid Vienna belatedly broke their Europa League duck as Deni Alar's first-half strike secured an upset win over Group K winners Metalist Kharkiv.
The Austrian side had failed to pick up a single point before tonight's final group game and they were forced to secure a maiden win the hard way after playing the second half a man short.
Alar fired them into a 13th-minute lead but the task was made more difficult when Harald Pichler was given a straight red just before half-time.
Defeat was Metalist's first in Europe this term but meant little else after they had already ensured they would avoid the likes of Chelsea, Lyon and Benfica in the next round.
Rapid set the scene for a memorable finish to their campaign when Alar fired them ahead inside the opening quarter.
The Austria Under-21 striker ran on to Christopher Trimmel's right-wing cross and fired in from 12 yards.
Metalist briefly responded with Jonathan Cristaldo blazing over from 18 yards but the hosts controlled the majority of the opening 45 minutes.
Trimmel headed over before supplying the cross for Guido Burgstaller to send Oleksandr Goryainov scrambling across his line to tip the ball round the post.
Trimmel was in the thick of the best action but again he was unable to find the net, after this time being set up by Alar 12 yards out.
Metalist almost equalised on 34 minutes but Papa Gueye's near-post header from six yards went over the crossbar.
Pichler was dismissed on 44 minutes for a bad challenge on Willian to leave Rapid with a tough last 45 minutes.
Bonfim Marlos stung the palms of Lukas Konigshofer with a 25-yard drive 10 minutes after half-time as Metalist looked to kickstart a comeback.
Konigshofer parried Sebastian Blanco's volley from 12 yards as time ticked down and Edmar headed wide at the near post as Rapid held on for their first points.