World Cup Qualifying - European - Group D
Austria2Wales2

Austria 2-2 Wales

Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer scores an unfortunate own goal
Three Premier League players were on the scoresheet, though Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer endured a moment to forget as he diverted the ball into his own net for Wales' second

Wales twice squandered a winning position as Austria fought back to draw in a lively 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Joe Allen's half-volley put Wales ahead in Vienna but slack marking allowed Marko Arnautovic to nod level.

Wales were fortunate to regain the lead through Kevin Wimmer's own goal - a day after Austria manager Marcel Koller had called his opponents "lucky".

Arnautovic seized on more sloppy defending to level again but Wales held on for a point to stay top of Group D.

Chris Coleman's side had to cope with spells of heavy Austrian pressure as well as a vociferous Viennese crowd inside a packed Ernst Happel Stadion.

The European Championship semi-finalists also had to contend with an injury to Allen, which will make the midfielder a doubt for Sunday's match at home to Georgia.

The draw means Wales are level on points with Austria, Serbia and the Republic of Ireland - who beat Georgia 1-0 - but they retain their place at Group D's summit thanks to their superior goal difference.

Group D standings

'Lucky' Wales

This meeting between Group D's top two seeds was always likely to be a significant fixture, and the game was given added spice by the two managers' pre-match comments.

Coleman dismissed Koller's suggestion Wales were "lucky" to reach the Euro 2016 semi-finals, and he appeared to make a pointed reference to Austria's failure to get out of their group when he said some teams in France "couldn't handle the pressure".

There was a sense of serendipity to the way Koller's comments came back to haunt him shortly before half-time, as Wales regained the lead in extremely fortuitous fashion.

Gareth Bale launched a long throw into Austria's box and, after Sam Vokes' flick-on, James Chester had a header saved by Robert Almer - but the ball bounced off Wimmer and bobbled into the net.

The element of luck was amplified by the fact Wales had been under intense pressure before they scored their second goal, although Arnautovic's second equaliser meant Austria were eventually rewarded for their endeavours.

Wales' toughest test?

On paper, this was Wales' most difficult match of the campaign - Coleman's top seeds away from home against the second-highest ranked team in the group.

Austria had won their past 10 qualifiers and were unbeaten in competitive matches at home since 2012.

With a highly-charged atmosphere inside Ernst Happel Stadion, Koller's men seemed determined to make amends for their disappointing European Championship campaign.

And, despite falling behind to Allen's superb swerving left-footed half-volley, Austria were level five minutes later as Chris Gunter failed to track Arnautovic's run from a lofted David Alaba pass, allowing the Stoke winger to head past Wayne Hennessey.

The hosts took charge from that point and, although Wales reclaimed the lead, Allen's loose pass and a poor touch from Chester allowed Arnautovic to run clear and clip the ball over Hennessey.

A draw was the least Austria's attacking efforts warranted and, for Wales, a point away from home against one of their primary rivals for Group D's top spot was reward for a valiant performance.

Man of the match - Marko Arnautovic

Marko Arnautovic
Stoke winger Arnautovic is prodigiously talented but inconsistent and, luckily for Austria, this was one of his good days. He took both goals superbly and kept Wales' defenders guessing throughout the game.

What they said

Wales manager Chris Coleman: "We have to be honest and say we'll take that point. It wasn't our best performance but Austria are a very good team at home. To take three points we needed to be at our very best in every department but we weren't. We found a way though, by hook or by crook, and we rode our luck at times.

"If you can get something when you are not at your best it is a good sign. We made trouble for ourselves, that's not like us. We can play a lot better but we can't fight any harder than that."

Wales forward Gareth Bale: "This is a very difficult place to come but we ground out a 2-2 draw. Austria will beat a lot of teams here, a point is positive."

What's next?

Wales are at home to Georgia on Sunday, while Serbia host the Austrians. Elsewhere in Group D, the Republic of Ireland travel to Moldova.

Line-ups

Austria

  • 1AlmerSubstituted forÖzcanat 58'minutes
  • 17Klein
  • 3Dragovic
  • 4Hinteregger
  • 5Wimmer
  • 9Sabitzer
  • 14Baumgartlinger
  • 8Alaba
  • 7ArnautovicBooked at 50minsSubstituted forSchaubat 87'minutes
  • 10JunuzovicSubstituted forSchöpfat 79'minutes
  • 21JankoBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 2Stangl
  • 6Ilsanker
  • 11Alar
  • 12Lukse
  • 13Suttner
  • 15Prödl
  • 16Schaub
  • 18Schöpf
  • 19Hinterseer
  • 20Gregoritsch
  • 22Lazaro
  • 23Özcan

Wales

  • 1Hennessey
  • 2Gunter
  • 5Chester
  • 6Williams
  • 4DaviesBooked at 60mins
  • 3TaylorSubstituted forHuwsat 90+1'minutes
  • 8King
  • 7AllenSubstituted forEdwardsat 56'minutes
  • 16Ledley
  • 11Bale
  • 18VokesSubstituted forRobson-Kanuat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Robson-Kanu
  • 10Huws
  • 12Fon Williams
  • 13MacDonald
  • 14Edwards
  • 15Crofts
  • 17Cotterill
  • 19Collins
  • 20Lawrence
  • 21Davies
  • 22Dummett
  • 23Bradshaw
Referee:
Cüneyt Çakir

Match Stats

Home TeamAustriaAway TeamWales
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home15
Away7
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away7
Fouls
Home12
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Austria 2, Wales 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Austria 2, Wales 2.

Martin Hinteregger (Austria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales).

Booking

Marc Janko (Austria) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Marc Janko (Austria).

Chris Gunter (Wales) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Marcel Sabitzer (Austria).

Chris Gunter (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Wales. Emyr Huws replaces Neil Taylor.

Foul by Aleksandar Dragovic (Austria).

Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Wayne Hennessey (Wales) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Austria. Louis Schaub replaces Marko Arnautovic.

Attempt saved. Alessandro Schöpf (Austria) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by David Alaba.

Aleksandar Dragovic (Austria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ashley Williams (Wales).

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Kevin Wimmer.

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Florian Klein.

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Aleksandar Dragovic.

Attempt missed. David Alaba (Austria) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Alessandro Schöpf.

Attempt missed. Marko Arnautovic (Austria) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Alessandro Schöpf.

Substitution

Substitution, Austria. Alessandro Schöpf replaces Zlatko Junuzovic.

Offside, Austria. Marcel Sabitzer tries a through ball, but Zlatko Junuzovic is caught offside.

Foul by Marc Janko (Austria).

Ben Davies (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Wales. Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Sam Vokes.

Offside, Austria. Florian Klein tries a through ball, but Marc Janko is caught offside.

Julian Baumgartlinger (Austria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Gareth Bale (Wales).

Foul by David Alaba (Austria).

James Chester (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Marc Janko (Austria) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ashley Williams (Wales).

Attempt missed. Sam Vokes (Wales) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Offside, Austria. David Alaba tries a through ball, but Marko Arnautovic is caught offside.

Attempt missed. James Chester (Wales) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Joe Ledley with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Julian Baumgartlinger.

Florian Klein (Austria) wins a free kick on the right wing.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bulgaria11004313
2Netherlands10101101
3Sweden10101101
4Belarus10100001
5France10100001
6Luxembourg100134-10

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Switzerland11002023
2Latvia11001013
3Faroe Islands10100001
4Hungary10100001
5Andorra100101-10
6Portugal100102-20

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany11003033
2Azerbaijan11001013
3Czech Rep10100001
4Northern Ireland10100001
5San Marino100101-10
6Norway100103-30

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wales21106244
2Serbia21105234
3Austria21104314
4R. of Ireland21103214
5Georgia200213-20
6Moldova200207-70

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Denmark11001013
2Poland10102201
3Kazakhstan10102201
4Montenegro10101101
5Romania10101101
6Armenia100101-10

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Scotland11005143
2England11001013
3Slovenia10102201
4Lithuania10102201
5Slovakia100101-10
6Malta100115-40

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Albania22004136
2Spain21109184
3Italy21104224
4Israel210134-13
5Macedonia200224-20
6Liechtenstein2002010-100

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bos-Herze11005053
2Greece11004133
3Belgium11003033
4Gibraltar100114-30
5Cyprus100103-30
6Estonia100105-50

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia21107164
2Iceland21104314
3Ukraine20203302
4Turkey20203302
5Finland201134-11
6Kosovo201117-61
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