Austria’s national women’s soccer team missed a surprise at the start of the European Championship in England. As expected, team boss Irene Fuhrmann’s team had to admit defeat to hosts England in the tournament opening game at Old Trafford Stadium on Wednesday evening with 0:1 (0:1). So there was nothing for captain Viktoria Schnaderbeck and Co. in the eighth duel with the “Lionesses”. The result was the same as in the World Cup qualifiers in Sunderland in the autumn.
With Beth Mead (16th) in front of 68,871 spectators in the “Theatre of Dreams”, of all people, an Arsenal colleague of Manuela Zinsberger and Laura Wienroither made the decision. The ÖFB selection bravely held back, two good opportunities in the finish remained the only result. The next chance for points is on Monday (6:00 p.m.) in Southampton against European debutants Northern Ireland. A victory on paper is a must. The Northern Ireland are the clear outsiders in Group A, their first game is also in Southampton on Thursday against two-time European champions Norway.
Fuhrmann relied on routine in the duel, which the ÖFB side referred to several times as a “highlight game”. Wienroither was the only player in the starting XI who hadn’t been in the 2017 “Summer Fairy Tale” and reached the semi-finals. The central defense was made up of Schnaderbeck and Carina Wenninger, who got fit in time. Laura Feiersinger, who was repeatedly struck recently, was also allowed to try from the start.
Fuhrmann surprised with a courageous 4-3-3 formation. She had changed her system compared to the appearance in Sunderland, had deviated from a chain of five. At first it looked pretty good on the field. The guests clearly showed that they “didn’t have their pants full”, as the team boss had announced in advance, did not hide and tried to set accents in the front. After ten minutes at the latest, however, the favorite took control and proved why he can be counted on in the title race.
Austria’s women remain goalless in England
Lauren Hemp headed over it at the first chance (12th). Five minutes later, however, the lead was perfect. After an ideal cross from Kirby, Mead hoisted Zinsberger from six yards, Wenninger’s rescue effort, which was able to clear the ball via the crossbar, took place behind the line, as the TV pictures showed.
Record goalscorer Ellen White should have closed the sack early, but headed wide from six meters (26′) and a slightly more difficult one just before the break (44′). In addition, even Zinsberger had to save in dire need in a duel with Hemp to a corner, as Wenninger had carelessly lost the ball in the build-up game (45 + 1).
After the restart, the locals continued to control what was happening. The ÖFB selection was only rarely able to stage itself in the opposing half, which only changed late in the game. In a haze shot, Mary Earps was properly tested for the only time (78th). A few minutes later, the Austrians claimed a penalty in a Williamson handball. Julia Hickelsberger-Füller also tested England’s goalkeeper (87′).
Austria did not score a goal in their fifth attempt on English soil. After the failures of Maria Plattner and Lisa Kolb, whose jerseys had been held up by two ÖFB players during the anthem, another threatens, but the strong Feiersinger retired late with a bad shoulder. Things are going according to plan for England under Sarina Wiegman, in the 15th game there was again no defeat and the 13th win. The goal difference is 85:3. (apa)