UEFA Euro WU17 2023 qualifiers, League A Group 3
Austria 3-0 Northern Ireland
Austria (Hocherl 50’, Gutmann 67’, Krassnig 84’)
Monday 24 October 2022
Boss Noel Mitchell made two changes to the 11 that started in the 2-0 defeat to Finland in Northern Ireland’s opening group game. Gracie Conway and Rhianna Breen, who both came on as subs against the Finns, replaced Sophie Gargan and Kascie Weir up front.
How it happened
Austria, who defeated the Republic of Ireland 1-0 in their opening game in the four-team mini tournament, started strongly and had a couple of efforts off target in the opening quarter. Valentina Illinger missed a good opportunity before Northern Ireland keeper Ellie Scott managed to hold on to an Almedina Sisic strike.
A powerful Austrian side continued to press and Scott saved an effort from Hannah Fankhauser.
However, the best chance of the half was created by Northern Ireland. Breen cut in down the flank and found Conway who teed it up for captain Aimee Kerr and her long range effort went inches past the post.
Towards the end of the half Austria continued to push and the Northern Ireland defence had to work tirelessly to keep them at bay.
Five minutes after the break Austria took the lead when midfielder Lara Hocherl’s long range free-kick dipped into the corner of the net.
Breen’s shot from distance drifted wide before Scott saved another Illinger effort. Northern Ireland then enjoyed an extended spell of possession, however Austria doubled their lead on 67 minutes through defender Sarah Gutmann when she headed the ball home powerfully from a corner.
Northern Ireland substitute Sophie Magee fired in a superb low cross into the box in the 79th minute, however no-one in a green shirt could reach it. And Austria substitute Tina Krassnig scored a fine individual goal five minutes later to make it 3-0. She jinked her way past three defenders before chipping the ball over the keeper.
In added time Scott produced a super fingertip save to push a drive from Austria midfielder Greta Spinn onto the bar and out for a corner.
Austria: Lara Ritter, Theresa D’Angelo (Lina Nindl 73’), Leonie Tragl, Florentina Satra (captain) (Sophie Hoke 81’), Sarah Gutmann, Greta Spinn, Lara Hocherl, Hannah Fankhauser, Jasmin Reiterer (Tina Krassnig 56’), Valentina Illinger (Maja Keckeis 73’), Almedina Sisic (Helena Milanovic 81’).
Substitutes not used: Sarah Trinkl (GK), Lena Breznik, Cynthia Adamu, Selina Albrecht.
Northern Ireland: Ellie Scott, Orleigha McGuinness (Sophie Magee 78’), Sophie Keenan, Abi Sweetlove, Niamh O'Donnell (Faye Loughran 46’), Darcie McNeill, Rachel McIntyre (Sophie Gargan 86’), Mia Moore, Gracie Conway (Kascie Weir 65’), Aimee Kerr (captain), Rhianna Breen.
Subs not used: Kate Smith (GK), Olivia Canavan, Ellen Hampton, Maureen Quinn, Eva Myles.
Northern Ireland will complete their League A Group 3 campaign with a match against the Republic at Seaview on Thursday (27 October). It’s a 2pm start and the game will be streamed live on the Northern Ireland You Tube channel.
However, they would have to defeat the Republic, who beat Finland 3-2 earlier today, by three clear goals if they are to retain their place in League A for the elite round of qualifiers next spring.
Match report by Nigel Tilson