Germany edge out Austria in World Cup Qualifier match

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Germany edged a combative Austria 2-1 to confirm their top spot in Group C after Tuesday’s 2014 World Cup Europe qualifier in Vienna.

After a 3-0 victory against the Faroe Islands in Friday’s first qualifier, Germany secured another three points thanks to goals in either half from Marco Reus and Mesut Oezil to stay top of Group C with six points, ahead of Ireland.

Werder Bremen midfielder Zlatko Junuzovic saved Austrian honour with a 57th-minute goal in their first World Cup qualifier on front of 47,000-spectators in the sold-out Ernst Happel Stadium.

Austria had gotten off to a strong start, with a first chance after just three minutes, but Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber got between VfB Stuttgart’s Martin Harnik and goal.

Although the Germans tried to fight back, their opponents had the best chances of the half, with Harnik and veteran international Andreas Ivanschitz shooting just wide of the net on several occasions.

Borussia Dortmund’s Reus finally broke the deadlock a minute before half-time, slotting in a pass from Miroslav Klose past Austrian goalkeeper Robert Almer.

But back after the break the Germans took the upper hand before Austria’s Veli Kavlak brought down Thomas Mueller.

Dutch referee Bjoern Kuipers ordered a penalty, which Real Madrid’s Oezil expertly converted to bring the score 2-0 after 52 minutes.

The Austrians’ early fighting spirit reappeared however as Werder Bremen midfielder Zlatko Junuzovic hit the back of the net five minutes later.

A mistake by German skipper Philipp Lahm almost allowed Julian Burgstaller to equalise with 20 minutes left, but further pressing by the Austrians failed to alter the scoreline, despite a couple of good chances for Marko Arnautovic.

The encounter had been built up on the Austrian side as their best chance in years to beat traditional rivals Germany, with confidence at a high following several international victories, and players benefitting from experience playing abroad.

For his starting 11, Swiss coach Marcel Koller had selected only players who play in foreign clubs, including nine in the German Bundesliga, a first for the national side.

However, Austria were without their brightest young star, Bayern Munich’s David Alaba, while Germany were missing Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gomez.

Austria have won just eight matches with six draws in 37 clashes against their northern neighbours since 1908, the last one — a Euro 2012 qualifier in September 2011 — ending 6-2 for Germany.

Germany next face Ireland and Sweden in Group C of World Cup Qualifier in October, while Austria will be up against Kazakhstan.

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