VIENNA (AP) — Shakhtar Donetsk beat Rapid Vienna 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League playoff Wednesday, positioning itself for reaching the group stage for a sixth straight season.
Defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy set up Marlos in the 44th, and he wrongfooted Rapid defender Stephan Auer before beating goalkeeper Jan Novota with a low diagonal shot.
Rapid pressed for an equalizer in the second half but was often too wayward in its passing on a soaking wet field because of rain. Shakhtar hasn't missed out on the group stage since 2010. Last season, it was beaten by Bayern Munich in the round of 16.
Rapid is seeking its third appearance in the group stage and first in 10 years. The last Austrian team to qualify was Austria Vienna two years ago.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.