World Cup play-off: Austria’s dream bursts in extra time

In front of a new Scottish women’s record crowd of 10,182 spectators in Glasgow’s venerable Hampden Park, Abigail Harrison, a substitute, headed the game in the 92nd minute.

Team boss Irene Fuhrmann’s selection never really came close to the level of performance she showed at this year’s European Championships in England on the way to the quarter-finals. Thus, the fourth duel with the Scots also ended in defeat. And that after a game with few chances for both sides.

Poor first half

Heavy rain and sometimes strong winds, the weather in Glasgow was almost continuously inhospitable on the day of the match, as it has been since the ÖFB team players arrived in Scotland on Monday. The hosts felt visibly more comfortable, played the game before the break and convinced with a very safe ball performance.

The only drawback was that they didn’t try to finish in the decisive zone. As a result, a rescue by ÖFB goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger in a duel with striker Martha Thomas (14th) was the only one for the time being.

The ÖFB troop, which started in a 4-1-4 formation, tried above all not to concede a goal and were very secure on the defensive. Little went forward, only two shots was a hit at least in the air. Nicole Billa shot the goal net with her left (24′), Julia Hickelsberger-Füller’s ball hit the top of the crossbar (43′) after preparatory work by Sarah Zadrazil.

Hickelsberger-Füller hits the bar

A shot by Julia Hickelsberger-Füller just before the break touched the crossbar.

Austrians keep the game open

After the restart, the conditions were better without rain and the Austrians acted much more courageously and thus had more time in the game. A long-range shot by Verena Hanshaw went wide (68′).

Hanshaw by the gate

The ball just doesn’t want to go into the Scottish goal, and a shot from Verena Hanshaw also misses the target.

However, the longer the match lasted, the more balanced things became. Both teams were looking for the decision. On the Austrian side, a shot by Katja Wienerroither, who had just come on as a substitute, was too weak (85′), another shot from just outside the box went wide (87′). That should pay off.

Decision at the beginning of overtime

In the finish, the Scots were closer to the winning goal, and for the first time the crowd was really a factor, causing quite a stir. That didn’t change in extra time either, as it started off to the liking of the supporters. Harrison headed a corner from Erin Cuthbert into the net. The offensive player almost managed a double strike, but ÖFB captain Carina Wenninger was able to direct a header into the corner (99th).

The equalizer was only in the air, a shot by Barbara Dunst did not find its way into the goal (101st). With that, the Austrians left the pitch in front of the eyes of the ÖFB leadership around President Gerhard Milletich with their heads hanging, after they had celebrated the previous evening with Fuhrmann at the team headquarters in Glasgow on the occasion of the election for the trainer personality of the year.

The hoped-for “really cool showdown” with Ireland on Tuesday in the NV Arena in St. Pölten will not come to anything. Scotland, number 23 in the world rankings and slightly worse than Austria (20th), can continue to dream of their second World Cup participation after 2019.

Comments on the game:

Irene Fuhrmann (ÖFB team boss): “The disappointment is great, the bitterness is there. In the end, I can’t blame the players. We found it difficult to get going and found the bite in the second half. In the end we weren’t allowed to get the goal and were too harmless going forward. We weren’t there ‘on point’, especially in the first half. You can’t afford that at this level. Nevertheless, everyone tried to give everything here. In the end we lost a huge chance to go to a World Cup for the first time. The opportunity was there. We have to process this quickly now.”

Laura Feiersinger (ÖFB team player): “It’s extremely bitter. It was a very, very close game, also a bit of a disgusting game. It was very duel-focused and also had few chances. I think you could tell on the pitch that the team that scores the first goal will win. We didn’t quite reach our level today and made a lot of simple mistakes. We created good situations for ourselves, but then carelessly gave the ball away. This is very annoying.”

Play-off for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, first round


Scotland 1-0 Austria a.e.t

Glasgow, Hampden Park, 10,182; SR Adamkova (CZE)

Tor: Harrison (92.)

Scotland: Alexander – Evans, Howard, Corsie, Docherty (113/Mukandi) – Cuthbert, Weir, Kerr (64/Graham) – Clelland (46/Brown/120/Grimshaw), Thomas (75/Harrison), Emslie

Austria: Zinsberger – Wienroither (112./Kolb), Wenninger, Georgieva, Hanshaw – Puntigam – Hickelsberger-Füller (64./Naschenweng), Zadrazil, Feiersinger (100./Plattner), Dunst (112./Schiechtl) – Billa (82. /Wienerroither)

Yellow cards: Dicherty or none

The best: Weir, Cuthbert, Harrison and Wienroither, Dunst

Scotland meets Ireland in the second round on Tuesday


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