Austria v Ireland

Martin O'Neill's men travel to the Ernst Happel Stadium hoping to end Ireland's dismal run in Vienna

RuaidhrĂ­ Croke Sat, Nov 12
LIVE: Austria v Ireland

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  • 15:55

    Good afternoon and welcome to The Irish Times liveblog of Ireland's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Austria in Vienna. I'm Ruaidhrí Croke and I'll be with you for all of the action as Martin O'Neill's side look to get a result from a historically not-so-happy hunting ground for Irish teams. You can get involved by using the 'Contact Us' button at the top of the blog or you can get me on Twitter @Ruaidhri_Croke.

    It's a funny thing that Ireland happen to have a better record against Brazil and world champions Germany than the semmingly much weaker Austrians. The Boys in Green have played Austria on 14 occasions and won just two of them. In fact, their record against Austria is their worst against any side they have faced more than five times, with a win rate of just over 14per cent.

    So, there's a positive start for you...

    Do not despair, however. This Austrian side looks to be a long way from world beaters and Ireland should be confident of coming away with at least a point. Marcel Koller's side have picked up just four points from their opening three games – including a loss to Serbia – and sit three points behind joint leaders Ireland and Serbia in Group D.

    After dropping just two points in qualification for Euro 2016 there were big things expected from the land of strudel and opera but they failed to hit the high notes when an opening game loss to Hungary set them on their way to group stage elimination.

    With key players Shane Long, Stephen Ward and James McCarthy all missing, Martin O'Neill's team selection is set to be interesting with Harry Arter widely expected to make his first competitive start. There is also the added interest of Dundalk's Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan included in the squad.

    Kick off is at 5pm and the Ernst Happel Stadium is expected to be full to capacity on a bitterly cold but dry Vienna evening. Team news on the way!

  • 15:56

    IRELAND: Darren Randolph; Seamus Coleman (C), Ciaran Clark, Shane Duffy, Robbie Brady; Harry Arter, Glenn Whelan, Jeff Hendrick, Wes Hoolahan, James McClean, Jonathan Walters.

    Subs: Keiren Westwood (GK), Colin Doyle (GK), John O'Shea, Andy Keogh Keogh, Aiden McGeady, David McGoldrick, Daryl Horgan, Kevin Doyle, David Meyler, Paul McShane, Callum O'Dowda, Alex Pearce.

    AUSTRIA: Ozcan (Bayer Leverkusen); Klein (VfB Stuttgart), Dragovic (Bayer Leverkusen), Hinteregger (Augsburg), Wimmer (Tottenham); Baumgartlinger (Bayer Leverkusen), Alaba (Bayern Munich); Sabitzer (RB Leipzig), Schopf (Schalke), Arnautovic (Stoke City); Janko (Basel).

  • 16:02

    So, by all means that looks like the strongest Ireland team available to O'Neill. There was some feeling that Hoolahan may not start goven O'Neill's strange comments following his performance against Moldova in Chisnau, coupled with a recent return to form for Aiden McGeady.

    However the Ireland manager has decided to stick with the former Shelbourne playmaker in a team that includes seven past League of Ireland players.

    However, Dundalk's Andy Boyle does not make the bench, along with Adam Rooney, Jonny Hayes and Stephen Gleeson. They will wrap up warm and sit in the stands while Daryl Horgan takes his place in the dugout.

  • 16:08
  • 16:12

    We have plenty of pre-game reading for you in today's sports pages and on the website.

    You can read Emmet Malone's preview from Vienna here: Good night in Vienna would be music to O'Neill's ears.

    Meanwhile Malachy Clerkin looks at Ireland's band of journeymen pros who will never surrender.

    And finally, Austria manager Marcel Koller is hoping to celebrate his 56th birthday in the best of fashion this evening.

  • 16:30

    Seamus Coleman, Robbie Brady, Glenn Whelan and Jon Walters will all be walking on thin ice tonight as one more yellow card for any of them will rule them out of the Wales match in March - Ireland's next qualifier.

    Okay, prediction time. What do we reckon will be the final score? I'm going for 1-1.

  • 16:33
  • 16:42
  • 16:49

    Just over 10 minutes until kick-off now and the teams are entering the tunnel.

    I will leave you with a fun fact before the national anthems: Ernst Happel - the former Austrian international who the stadium in Vienna is named after - played in the first ever clash between Austria and Ireland.  

    Ireland lost that one 6-0.

    So there you go.

  • 16:58

    A solid four of the 11 Irish players singing the national anthem there while Austria managed to crank it up to seven. So that puts them 1-0 up in the patriotism stakes early on.

    It's almost time for kick off!

  • 17:01
    1 min: We are underway in Vienna! (Austria 0 Ireland 0)
  • 17:03

    3 mins: Austria launch an early attack down the left wing after a loose header from Hendrick lost Irish possession. A good ball in from Klein fizzed right across the face of the goal and Brady was forcedto put it behind at the back post.  

    The corner was poor but Austria managed to keep it alive and win another via the head of Hendrick before Arter was able to hoof the second cross clear. It's been a strong start from the home side.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)

  • 17:07
    7 mins: Chance for Austria! Hoolahan was lax in possession on the halfway line and lost it to Arnautovic. The Stoke man played it to Baumgartlinger in the middle before receiving it back and attacking the Irish defence. He got right to the 18 yard box but Clark managed to slide in with a superb challenge to nick it off his toe before Sabitzer's low shot on the follow up flew wide. This is already looking like it's going to be a tense one.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)
  • 17:10
    10 mins: Chance for Austria! Baumgartlinger and Schopf linked up well on the right, allowing Schopf the space to cross into the box. Clark met it at the front post but could only force it behind for a corner. Again it was Schopf to deliver and his cross landed on the toe of Janko at the front post. An excellent first touch allowed the big man the space to shoot towards goal on the swivel but Randolph kept his eye on it through the mass of legs in the six yard box and was able to smother.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)
  • 17:15
    14 mins: Chance for Ireland! A rare foray into the Austrian box almost results in an unlikely Ireland goal! From a throw in on the left Brady found Arter who flicked it on the McClean. The West Brom man allowed the ball to beat him before volleying first time towards goal but a deflection redirected it wide. Brady's corner was too high for everyone and Austria managed to clear. That could settle Ireland though, they look to have weathered the early Austrian storm.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)
  • 17:17

    16 mins: In Tblisi Georgia have taken an early lead against Moldova. Wales don't take on Serbia until 7.45.

    Ireland have settled now and are looking a lot more comfortable in possession. This is good.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)

  • 17:19
    18 mins: Chance for Austria! The threat again comes down the left wing where Coleman has found himself under a lot of pressure so far. Klein's floated ball into the middle was met by the head of Janko who managed to outjump Duffy and direct a header towards goal but a lack of power meant Randolph could easily gather.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)
  • 17:21

    20 mins: It's been an interesting opening 20 minutes with a number of chances, albeit none of them clear-cut. Ireland are more than standing up to their hosts now after holding strong through that fast start.

    Walters has won a corner on the left and Arter will take.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)

  • 17:22
    22 mins: It's a great ball into the middle from the Bournemouth man, dipping in the six yard box, but Austria are able to clear.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)
  • 17:24

    24 mins: Glenn Whelan has gone down after taking a bang to the knee and needs to be withdrawn. David Meyler will replace him.

    Take that news as you wish.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)

  • 17:24
  • 17:27
    26 mins: Chance for Austria! Hoolahan, for a second time, is a little too casual in possession just inside his own half and loses out to Baumgartlinger. The man with the skydiver's name floats a ball over the top of the Irish defence where Duffy meets it with his head on the penalty spot. However his attempted clearance only goes as far as the oncoming Janko who volleys first time towards goal but his effort flies way over the bar.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)
  • 17:30
    30 mins: Both sides look decidedly average as Austria begin to get frustrated at their lack of chances while Ireland fail to string a few passes together and create anything of note themselves. Scrappy is the word for this. Scrappy.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)
  • 17:33

    32 mins: Chance for Ireland! And it comes from where 90 per cent of Ireland's chances come from - a Brady set piece. From a free-kick on the right and just inside the Ireland half the Norwich City man swing a great left footed delivery into the box, bending towards goal. Walters managed to rise and get a flick to it but it wasn't quite enough to direct it inside the post.  

    Alaba has sprayed three passes either out of play or straight to Irish players so far. Austria look very, very mediocre. Ireland could actually win this.

    There, I've said it now.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)

  • 17:35
    34 mins: What a tackle from Coleman! Arnautovic was slipped through in the Ireland box and looked certain to score with only Randolph to beat. However, as he pulled back to shoot, Coleman slid in with a perfectly timed tackle to flick the ball away and avert the danger. That's superb work from the captain.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)
  • 17:37

    36 mins: From a free-kick in a good position on the left wing Alaba hits the wall. The one man wall. The one man wall made up of 5'7'' Wes Hoolahan.

    In a strange way I think that sums up this game so far - pretty atrocious.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)

  • 17:39
    39 mins: After 20 minutes I thought this had been a decent enough game thanks to a few early chances. Since then it has been extremely poor. Neither side can manage to string more than about two passes together. However, it's 0-0 and Ireland are well in this. We all would have taken that at the start.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)
  • 17:42
    41 mins: Austria hit the bar! Finally some excitement! A beautiful first time flick from Arnautovic on the edge of the box slid Sabitzer through on goal but facing a tight angle. The Red Bull Leipzig man did well to clip his shot over the onrushing Randolph but it was inches too high, skimming off the crossbar. However the danger was not gone yet as Wimmer sent a cross back into the six yard box towards Janko but a last ditch tackle from Clark cleared it off his toe and Ireland could breathe again! That's the best chance of the game so far and finally a bit of quality.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)
  • 17:47
    44 mins: Chance for Ireland! And what a beautiful move it was! Brady picked the ball up in the middle and sprayed it out to Hoolahan on the left wing. The playmaker was marked tight but somehow managed to caress a beautiful back heel back into the path of Brady who had followed his pass. The Norwich man whipped a low first time across into the box where it was met by Walters but he failed to keep his effort down as the ball bounced awkwardly right in front of him. That's Ireland's best chance so far and by a long, long way, the best bit of play.  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)
  • 17:47
  • 17:54

    There is very little that can be said about that first half. Overall it was very scrappy from both sides with a number of extremely poor moments from quality players such as Alaba and Hoolahan.

    However, there were glimmers of hope towards the end of the half with Sabitzer's chance which hit the bar and then the excellent Ireland move that led to a good opportunity for Ireland.  

    So it really could be 1-1. But it's not, it's 0-0.

    Let's hope the second half improves.

  • 18:02
    46 mins: Ireland get the second half underway in Vienna!  (Austria 0 Ireland 0)
  • 18:05



  • 18:08
    50 mins: What a breakaway goal that was! After Meyler tracked back to snuff out an Austrian attack right at the Ireland corner flag on the left he turned and found Hoolahan on the halfway line. The former Shelbourne man spotted McClean bursting into acres of space down the left and whipped a left-footed pass perfectly around Dragovic and into the former Derry man's pass. McClean looked to have taken it a little too wide with his first touch but held his nerve to lift his head and fire it between Ozcan's legs and into the bottom corner! What a move, what a goal and made by three former League of Ireland players.  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)
  • 18:11
    52 mins: Walters scores but it's disallowed! Ireland are well in control now and Austria look very, very beatable. Another excellent delivery from Brady with a free-kick on the right was met by the head of Walters but he'd gone a second too early and the assistant raised his flag for offside. It's all happening now!  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)
  • 18:11
  • 18:13
    55 mins: Ireland attack once again and win a corner. Brady's delivery - as it has been all evening - is superb and finds Hoolahan at the back post. He controls, checks back and slides it to McClean but the West Brom man couldn't quite work the space to shoot at goal and his effort flies well wide.  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)
  • 18:15

    57 mins: This is a totally different Ireland team to the first half. Since the goal they're playing with such confidence and look more likely to score a second than Austria do of equalising.  

    After McClean won a corner on the left Brady delivered another good ball into the middle where Clark directed it towards goal but Austria were able to clear.  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)

  • 18:17

    59 mins: Chance for Austria! Schaupf, who has just come on for Wimmer, managed to get a powerful shot away from 18 yards but Randolph was equal to it and beat it away with his fists.

    Meanwhile Alaba has just completely missed the ball while trying to play a simple pass. Not a bit of contact with it. An air shot you'd call it if he was playing golf.  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)

  • 18:19
    61 mins: The introduction of Schaupf has given Austria a fresh wind and they're looking more dangerous. A rash challenge from Brady gifts the home side a free-kick in a very good position but Alaba's dipping effort flies well wide.  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)
  • 18:23
    65 mins: Austria have come right back into this in the last five minutes or so and are looking dangerous. Alaba tries his luck from 30 yards out on the right, his effort dipping over Randolph but, mercilessly, not under the crossbar.  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)
  • 18:29

    71 mins: Trapped at the corner flag on the right Hendrick does well to tap it off Wimmer and win a corner. Brady's cross this time is juts a little too deep and Ozcan can collect.

    Austria go right up the other end on the break but Arter foils the attack with a great tackle on Baumgartlinger and wins a free kick for his efforts. The Austrian receives a booking for his less than happy reaction towards the referee.  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)

  • 18:30

    73 mins: Austria win a harmless throw in on the right and, ridculously, Brady kicks the ball away to allow him time to get back in position. That;'s a yellow card for the Ireland man and he will now be suspended for the Wales game in March. That was stupid.

    Meanwhile Martin Harnik replaces Sabitzer for Austria.  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)

  • 18:33
    76 mins: Baumgartlinger is very, very lucky to avoid a second yellow card after hacking down Hoolahan from behind on the halfway line. Brady delivers another good cross into the box from the resulting free-kick but Duffy can't get the purchase on his header and it flies a long way over the bar.  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)
  • 18:35

    77 mins: All you Moldova fans out there will be glad to know that they have equalised against Gerogia.

    And if you're a Moldovan David McGoldrick fan you will be positively bouncing with excitement as the Ipswich Town man has just replaced Hoolahan.  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)

  • 18:37

    80 mins: We have 10 minutes to go and Ireland still lead.

    Can they hold out? This would be an absolutely massive win if they can.  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)

  • 18:40
    82 mins: Arnautovic lobs a lovely ball over the top of the Irish defence towards Harnik. The striker was tracked all the way by Brady and could only flick it over his shoulder towards goal, allowing Randolph to gather easily. The attacking onslaught looks to have begun...(Austria 0 Ireland 1)
  • 18:42
    85 mins: McClean received a clatter in the back and has had to be withdrawn. He's been replaced by McGeady. Just five minutes to go!  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)
  • 18:45
    87 mins: Chance for Austria! A good ball from Schaupf on the right dips over the head of Coleman and onto the head of Janko. However, the Austrian didn't seem to be expecting it and completely misjudged his effort on goal, sending it a long way wide.  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)
  • 18:46
    89 mins: Austria are piling on the pressure now but Ireland are holding firm. Good strength from Coleman on the right frustrates Arnautovic enough for him to give away a free-kick. Ireland can clear and breathe.  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)
  • 18:47
    90 mins: Austria have a corner on the right...(Austria 0 Ireland 1)
  • 18:49

    90+1 mins: The first delivery is poor and Brady clears but only as far as Klein who gets a second attempt at a cross. He does so but again Brady clears and again it's straight back to Klein. The Austrian's third effort is poor yet again (that's three bad crosses in a row from a professional footballer) but Ireland only half clear and Dragovic runs onto it 20 yards out, hammering a shot towards goal. It takes a deflection but Randolph has watched it all the way and gets down to smother.

    We will have three more minutes of added time!  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)

  • 18:50
    90+2 mins: Ireland have possession and are keeping it well...(Austria 0 Ireland 1)
  • 18:51
    90+3 mins: Walters picks it up inside his own half and drives towards the corner flag, winding down valuable seconds. However Austria now have it back...(Austria 0 Ireland 1)
  • 18:52
    90+4 mins: Chance for Austria! Alaba surges down the left and crosses deep towards Baumgartlinger at the back post. He volleys it first time back across goal where it lands right on the head of Janko just four yards out but somehow, somehow, he heads it wide!!  (Austria 0 Ireland 1)
  • 18:53



  • 18:59

    What a win that was. Ireland simply do not win away from home against supposedly good teams. But, tonight, they have. And they have also finally broken the duck of losing in Vienna.

    While the first half was quite scrappy, Ireland were the considerably better team in the second half and deserved the win. The goal was as top class a goal as you will ever see from an Irish side.

    And it's that goal that puts Ireland top of the group with 10 points from a possible 12! Serbia can get to that mark later this evening but they'll need to beat Wales away from home. If that finishes in a draw or a Wales win Ireland will go into matchday five in March at the top of Group D.

  • 19:03

    So that's that from me for this evening on another famous night for Irish football. Thanks for reading along and stay tuned to for Emmet Malone's match report as well as reaction and Ken Early's analysis from Vienna.

    Thanks for reading, bye!