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Dundalk leave point behind them in 7-goal thriller with Rapid


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Dundalk were three-minutes from earning a first point in this season's Europa League group campaign, but wound up losing by the odd goal away to Rapid Vienna.

Filippo Giovagnoli's side lost 4-3 on a crazy night in the Austrian capital.

The result leaves Dundalk bottom of Group B, without a point to their name with three games remaining.

It all started so well, however, with Pat Hoban benefitting from an horrific goalkeeping error from Paul Gartler.

Chris Shields lofted an inviting ball into the box, which was met sweetly by the head of Hoban with Gartler fumbling into his own net.

Midway through the half, Rapid were level. Captain Dejan Ljubicic was given too much space outside the Dundalk area and fired a wickedly swerving shot above the reach of stand-in goalkeeper Aaron McCarey.

McCarey's night got worse 12-minutes from time. In trying to keep out a cross-cum-shot from Thorsten Schick, he served only to lay the ball on a plate for Kelvin Arase to put the Austrians in front for the first time in the game.

But Dundalk regained parity just two-minutes later. Dave McMillan was felled in the box by fellow substitute Mario Sonnleitner. The striker tucked away the penalty to make it 2-2, and a draw looked on the cards.

Disaster struck with three-minutes remaining of normal time. Filip Stojkovic floated a hopeful ball into the area, McCarey came and missed allowing Max Hoffman to make it 3-2.

Shortly after, Greg Sloggett missed the chance to equalise with a free header.

Any hopes of another leveller were dashed when Yusuf Demir fired a low shot past McCarey.

Bizarrely, there was still a drop left in the bottle. The lively Nathan Oduwa was bundled over in the box, allowing McMillan to send a second spot-kick beyond Gartler.

Giovagnoli praised the effort of his players after the game, and they'll have a chance for retribution in three-weeks' time when Rapid visit the Aviva Stadium.

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Dave McMillan Dundalk Europa League Filippo Giovagnoli Pat Hoban Rapid Vienna UEFA Europa League

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