FC Aston Villa 2 – SK Rapid Vienna 3

With FK Austria Vienna goalkeeper RAIMUND HEDL (1) on the ground having already saved the penalty of Aston Villa’s not-pictured Bulgaria international STILIYAN PETROV, England World Cup striker EMILE HESKEY (red shirt, light blue sleeves) pops the rebound over the crossbar at Villa Park in Birmingham. (Ian Kingston/AFP/Getty Images)

UEFA Europa League
Playoff round, second leg

2 – FC Aston Villa (ENG) ———- Agbonlahor 22′, Heskey 77′
3 – SK Rapid Vienna (AUT) —— Nuhiu 52′, Sonnleitner 78′, Gartler 81′

Two goals in quick succession inside the final twelve minutes vaulted visiting RAPID VIENNA to a surprising, come-from-behind 3-2 victory over host ASTON VILLA in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League playoff round.

England World Cup striker EMILE HESKEY had given Aston Villa the lead with a delicate redirection in the 77th minute but would soon have reason to regret the rebound of the saved-penalty he popped onto the roof of Rapid Vienna’s net roughly five minutes earlier.

This as a result of 23-year-old Rapid Vienna defender MARIO SONNLEITNER, an off-season acquisition from SK Sturm Graz, whose header from a corner in the 78th minute could not be stopped by the palm of Aston Villa’s United States international goalkeeper BRAD GUZAN.

Already ahead on away goals, Rapid Vienna substitute striker RENE GARTLER’s tap-in two minutes later was mere icing on the cake for a club whose ability to score on the road in great quantity had to be in question considering the sale of its leading goal-scorer, Croatia international striker NIKICA JELAVIC, to Scottish club Glasgow Rangers last week.


FC ASTON VILLA : Guzan ; Beye, Collins, Davies, Cuellar ; Ireland, Petrov, Rio-Coker (Delfouneso 82′), A.Young ; Heskey, Agbonlahor (Albrighton 40′)

SK RAPID VIENNA : Hedl ; Dober, Sonnleitner, Soma, Katzer ; Pehlivan (Gartler 78′), Saurer (Trimmel 73′), Hofmann (Patochka 90+2), Heikkinen, Kavlak ; Nuhiu

Dressed in the club’s traditional green and white kit, Rapid Vienna defender MARIO SONNLEITNER (6) sends his decisive 78th minute header at the Aston Villa cage and United States goalkeeper BRAD GUZAN at Villa Park in Birmingham. (Ian Kingston/AFP/Getty Images)


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