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Football | Dundalk lose seven-goal thriller in Vienna

Dundalk have been beaten 4-3 by Rapid Wien in Austria in the Europa League.

The agonizing defeat at Allianz Stadium leaves the Lilywhites bottom of Group B without a point after three games.

Patrick Hoban netted the game's first goal, and David McMillan scored two penalties, but two goals in the last four minutes from Maximilian Hofmann and Yusuf Demir denied Filipo Giovagnoli's side a share of the spoils.

The Lilywhites made six changes from last week's defeat to Arsenal in North London, with goalkeeper Aaron McCarey among those coming into the team.

Dundalk made a dream start in Vienna, with Hoban heading the visitors into a seventh-minute lead from Chris Shields' pinpoint cross from a deep position.

Hoban outmuscled the defender, and his bouncing header somehow crept over Rapid 'keeper Paul Gartler.

Rapid captain Dejan Ljubicic fired home a superb long-range equaliser in the 22nd minute, unleashing a ferocious strike from 30 yards that sailed over McCarey's head.

The sides went into the interval tied at 1-1, but the final quarter of the game saw a flurry of late goals for both sides.

In the 79th minute, Kelvin Arase gave Rapid the lead with a header into an empty net after McCarey could only parry Thorsten Schick's back-post cross.

Dundalk won a penalty three minutes later when McMillan was felled by Rapid substitute Mario Sonnleitner in the box after a wonderful solo run from Nathan Oduwa. McMillan dusted himself down before squeezing his penalty into the bottom right corner, with Gartler getting a hand to it.

Greg Sloggett should have headed Dundalk into the lead in the 86th minute, but directed his free header from a corner wide from eight yards.

The midfielder's miss was to prove costly.

A minute later, Rapid worked a short corner to Schick, who floated a cross into the box from a deep position. Hofmann rose the highest in the box, beating McCarey to the ball and heading into an empty net to restore the hosts' lead.

In the 90th minute, 17-year-old Demir dribbled into the box and found the far bottom corner with a well-taken left-footed finish to make it 4-2.

Oduwa embarked on another eye-catching dribble to win Dundalk's second penalty deep into stoppage time, showing delightful footwork to skip past two defenders on the touchline before being bundled over in the box.

McMillan dispatched the penalty emphatically, but the Lilywhites had no time to hunt for an equaliser.

"We had a great performance tonight," Giovagnoli said afterwards.

"The team performed and deserved so much more than what happened at the end, but now we understand that we can compete.

"We understand we can compete with these Europa giants."

Elsewhere in Group B, Arsenal hammered Molde 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium.


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