RAPID VIENNA (1) vs ASTON VILLA (1)
ASTON VILLA boss Kevin MacDonald hailed his youngsters after his selection gamble paid off in Austria.
Villa’s caretaker manager rested his stars in favour of a selection of rookies, and they repaid his faith by claiming an away goal and a creditable draw from a tricky play-off first leg.
Scottish midfielder Barry Bannan silenced a partisan crowd by putting the visitors in front with his first goal for the club in the 12th minute.
And although Rapid Vienna equalised before half-time, when Atdhe Nuhiu glanced in Steffen Hoffmann’s cross, MacDonald’s inexperienced side secured the draw.
“I’m very proud indeed. It was an education for the boys, who played in patches, but I was pleased with all of them because it’s not an easy place to come,” said McDonald.“There’s a very strong camaraderie amongst that group of players.”