UEFA Nations League - Group B3
Austria1Northern Ireland0

Uefa Nations League: Austria 1-0 Northern Ireland

Jamal Lewis and Valentino Lazaro challenge for possession during the match in Vienna
Jamal Lewis and Valentino Lazaro challenge for possession during the match in Vienna

Northern Ireland's Nations League hopes suffered a major setback as Marko Arnautovic's second-half goal condemned them to a 1-0 defeat in Austria.

Arnautovic ran in behind right-back Paddy McNair and coolly slipped the ball past Bailey Peacock-Farrell for the only goal in Vienna.

McNair and skipper Steven Davis had chances for the visitors, while Will Grigg's late header hit a post.

NI lost their opening Group B3 game 2-1 to Bosnia-Herzegovina in September.

Northern Ireland are bottom of the table without a point and in danger of relegation to the third-tier Group C with games against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo on Monday and Austria in Belfast in November to come.

Austria are three points behind leaders Bosnia-Herzegovina, to whom they lost in their first fixture in the competition last month.

The inaugural Nations League offers countries a potential backdoor route to the Euro 2020 finals if they fail to finish in the top two of their qualifying groups for the tournament.

This match was NI's sixth of 2018 as they continue their build-up to that qualification campaign, which runs from March to November next year, with the draw to take place on 2 December.

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We deserved at least a draw - Michael O'Neill

Contrast in recent form

Austria secured their fourth win in 10 meetings between the sides 13 years to the day since the countries last met, the hosts running out 2-0 winners in Vienna on that occasion.

Michael O'Neill's side have now won only two of their last 10 matches and have failed to score in eight of their last 10 away games, including the last five in a row.

In contrast, Franco Foda's Austria - four places above their opponents in the Fifa rankings - have taken victories in nine of their most recent 11 matches.

'Forward thinking'

The build-up to the game was dominated by the late withdrawal from the squad of Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty, who ruled himself out on Sunday night, citing an Achilles injury.

Bolton Wanderers forward Josh Magennis was handed a lone central role up front as O'Neill opted for a 4-3-3 formation, with Millwall's Shane Ferguson given a first competitive start in almost two years.

Ferguson headed over from Oliver Norwood's cross from the right during a scrappy uneventful first half, while after the break McNair's left-foot strike was palmed away by Heinz Lindner.

Davis was unable to add to his prolific scoring record during October internationals - seven of his 11 to date have come during this month - when he skewed a shot wide of the target after Stuart Dallas headed into his path.

Rotherham striker Kyle Vassell won his first cap after being called into the squad for the first time, being introduced as a second-half substitute.

It was another replacement off the bench, Grigg, who went agonisingly close to equalising late in the game when his header from a corner cannoned off the inside of a post.

Wigan frontman Grigg later sustained a hamstring injury which is set to rule him out of the clash with Bosnia-Herzegovina.

George Saville and Stefan Ilsanker
George Saville and Stefan Ilsanker contend for possession at the Ernst Happel Stadium

Peacock-Farrell impresses

Goalkeeper Peacock-Farrell was restored to the starting line-up, having been handed a starting berth against Bosnia-Herzegovina but dropped to the bench for the friendly win over Israel three days later.

The Leeds United player conceded a free-kick in a dangerous position in the first half when he picked up a back-pass from Craig Cathcart, but made two fine saves at the start of the second.

First he tipped West Ham striker Arnautovic's low right-foot shot round the post and he was down quickly to deny Stefan Ilsanker a few minutes later.

The 21-year-old could do nothing, however, as Arnautovic finished clinically after being played onside by Jamal Lewis.

Austria, who were without injured Bayern Munich wing-back David Alaba for this fixture, face Denmark in a friendly on Tuesday.

Line-ups

Austria

  • 1Lindner
  • 20Lainer
  • 15Prödl
  • 4Hinteregger
  • 2Ulmer
  • 22LazaroSubstituted forDragovicat 90+1'minutes
  • 6Ilsanker
  • 16Zulj
  • 9SabitzerSubstituted forSchöpfat 75'minutes
  • 19BurgstallerSubstituted forKainzat 83'minutes
  • 7Arnautovic

Substitutes

  • 3Dragovic
  • 5Wimmer
  • 8Wöber
  • 10Schaub
  • 11Laimer
  • 12Strebinger
  • 13Stankovic
  • 14Hierländer
  • 17Kainz
  • 18Schöpf
  • 21Janko
  • 23Schlager

Northern Ireland

  • 1Peacock-FarrellBooked at 17mins
  • 17McNair
  • 20Cathcart
  • 5Evans
  • 3Lewis
  • 8Davis
  • 16NorwoodBooked at 73mins
  • 6SavilleSubstituted forVassellat 77'minutes
  • 14Dallas
  • 21MagennisSubstituted forGriggat 79'minutes
  • 11FergusonSubstituted forEvansat 56'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2McLaughlin
  • 4Smith
  • 7Whyte
  • 9Grigg
  • 10Boyce
  • 12Carson
  • 13Evans
  • 15Jones
  • 18Hughes
  • 19Vassell
  • 22Flanagan
  • 23McGovern
Referee:
Georgi Kabakov

Match Stats

Home TeamAustriaAway TeamNorthern Ireland
Possession
Home60%
Away40%
Shots
Home10
Away8
Shots on Target
Home3
Away1
Corners
Home7
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Austria 1, Northern Ireland 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Austria 1, Northern Ireland 0.

Offside, Northern Ireland. Bailey Peacock-Farrell tries a through ball, but Kyle Vassell is caught offside.

Offside, Austria. Peter Zulj tries a through ball, but Marko Arnautovic is caught offside.

Marko Arnautovic (Austria) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland).

Hand ball by Kyle Vassell (Northern Ireland).

Substitution

Substitution, Austria. Aleksandar Dragovic replaces Valentino Lazaro.

Peter Zulj (Austria) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland).

Offside, Austria. Heinz Lindner tries a through ball, but Marko Arnautovic is caught offside.

Offside, Northern Ireland. Stuart Dallas tries a through ball, but Jonny Evans is caught offside.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Stefan Ilsanker.

William Grigg (Northern Ireland) hits the right post with a header from the left side of the six yard box. Assisted by Paddy McNair with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Valentino Lazaro.

Attempt blocked. Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by William Grigg.

Substitution

Substitution, Austria. Florian Kainz replaces Guido Burgstaller.

Attempt missed. Steven Davis (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Corry Evans.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Stefan Lainer.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. William Grigg replaces Josh Magennis.

Attempt missed. Stefan Lainer (Austria) header from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Valentino Lazaro with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Austria. Conceded by Corry Evans.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Kyle Vassell replaces George Saville.

Peter Zulj (Austria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by George Saville (Northern Ireland).

Substitution

Substitution, Austria. Alessandro Schöpf replaces Marcel Sabitzer.

Attempt missed. Andreas Ulmer (Austria) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.

Peter Zulj (Austria) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by George Saville (Northern Ireland).

Goal!

Goal! Austria 1, Northern Ireland 0. Marko Arnautovic (Austria) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Peter Zulj.

Sebastian Prödl (Austria) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland).

Offside, Northern Ireland. Corry Evans tries a through ball, but Josh Magennis is caught offside.

Stefan Ilsanker (Austria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland).

Stefan Ilsanker (Austria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by George Saville (Northern Ireland).

Foul by Peter Zulj (Austria).

Paddy McNair (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Sebastian Prödl.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France21102114
2Germany10100001
3Netherlands100112-10

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium22005146
2Switzerland21017253
3Iceland200209-90

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Portugal22004226
2Poland201134-11
3Italy201112-11

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain22008176
2England201112-11
3Croatia201106-61

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ukraine22003126
2Czech Rep100112-10
3Slovakia100101-10

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Russia21102114
2Turkey21014403
3Sweden201123-11

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bos-Herze22003126
2Austria21011103
3Northern Ireland200213-20

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Denmark11002023
2Wales21014313
3R. of Ireland100114-30

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Scotland21013213
2Israel21012203
3Albania210112-13

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Finland33003039
2Greece32013216
3Hungary310223-13
4Estonia300303-30

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bulgaria22003126
2Norway21012113
3Cyprus210123-13
4Slovenia200224-20

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Serbia32105237
2Romania31204315
3Montenegro31112204
4Lithuania300315-40

M

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Georgia22003036
2Andorra20201102
3Latvia201101-11
4Kazakhstan201113-21

N

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belarus32106067
2Luxembourg32017166
3Moldova311124-24
4San Marino3003010-100

O

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Kosovo32105147
2Azerbaijan31204135
3Faroe Islands310236-33
4Malta301237-41

P

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Macedonia22004046
2Liechtenstein21013213
3Armenia210123-13
4Gibraltar200204-40
View full UEFA Nations League tables

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