Rapid 0-1 Shakhtar

On August 19, the first match of the Champions League play-off round took place in Vienna. The Pitmen faced local Rapid.

UEFA Champions League 2015-16. Play-offs. First match

August 19, 2015. Vienna. Ernst Happel Stadium. 18C

Rapid (Vienna, Austria) 0-1 (0-1) Shakhtar (Donetsk, Ukraine)

Goal: Marlos (44)

Rapid: Novota, Pavelic, Sonnleitner, Dibon, Auer, Petsos, Grahovac, Schaub, S. Hofmann (c), (Alar, 84), Kainz (Shobesberger, 80), Beric (Prozenik 90)

Substitutes: Shtrebinger, M. Hofmann, Shimpelsberger, Huzpek

Head coach: Zoran Barisic

Shakhtar: Pyatov, Srna (c), Kucher, Rakytskyy, Azevedo, Stepanenko (Malyshev, 46), Fred, Marlos (Eduardo, 80), Teixeira, Taison (Bernard, 86), Gladkyy

Substitutes: Kanibolotskyy, Shevchuk, Kryvtsov, Kovalenko

Head coach: Mircea Lucescu

Booked: Beric (7), Auer (27), Dibon (30), Stepanenko (39), Srna (39), Gladkyy (40), Kainz (59), Fred (67)

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands)

Before match

Compared to the match against Fenerbahce, the Pitmen’s head coach Mircea Lucescu made two squad changes: this time it was Yaroslav Rakytskyy and Oleksandr Kucher, who played at the heart of defence, with Azevedo operating at left back.

First half

The match began being accompanied by rain. The Pitmen controlled the ball well on the wet pitch, and Rakytskyy took two long range efforts from distance – Rapid’s goalkeeper turned the ball away for a corner on both occasions. Oleksandr Gladkyy had a great chance, but his shot from the corner of the penalty area was blocked by the opposition goalkeeper. The hosts threatened Andriy Pyatov mostly in the air, with Schaub’s header in the opening stages of the game being the most dangerous shot.

Rapid played rough and got three yellow cards by the 30th minute. The referee only warned Beric, when the latter viciously elbowed Kucher into his head. The head of the Pitmen’s defender was bandaged. On 29 minutes, Alex Teixeira was brought down inside the penalty area but the referee waved play on.

The final five minutes proved to be eventful. Kainz could have opened the scoring, when he tried to slot the ball home after a cross from the left, but Pyatov made a wonder save. On 44 minutes, Shakhtar orchestrated a counterattack, during which Rakytskyy drilled a cross into the penalty area from the left to Marlos. The Brazilian skipped past the opposition defender before planting the ball into the far corner of the net to make it 0-1. The Pitmen went into the half time break with a narrow lead, but without Taras Stepanenko, The Pitmen’s midfielder was stretched off with his head bleeding, as a result of colliding with the opponent in the areal challenge.

Second half

Stepanenko was unable to continue the game, during the half time break he was replaced by Maksym Malyshev. Shakhtar possessed the ball for a long time, orchestrating attacking moves. Rapid were counting on set pieces and long shots. Schaub took a dangerous shot, and then Teixeira fired from outside the penalty area – the ball flew just wide of the goal post on both occasions. There were a lot of challenges in every area of the pitch, with the referee often stopping the game.

Rapid tried to go forward in numbers but it was not a problem for Shakhtar. The Pitmen confidently kept a clean sheet. Marlos’ goal brought a 1-0 away win. The teams will play their second game in Lviv on 25 August.