Preview - Wales vs Austria 3 Sep

Started by Bensergi, Sep 02, 2017, 05:52 PM

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Bensergi

Sep 02, 2017, 05:52 PM Last Edit: Sep 02, 2017, 06:15 PM by Bensergi
Wales vs Austria

This is Wales' biggest game since the Euro 2016 semi-final with Portugal. The Red Dragons are still unbeaten in Group D, beating Moldova but drew the other five.

Only four qualifiers to go and just one automatic place for next year's finals in Russia it has reached must-win stage. That's not just a cliché any more, in Wales' case it is reality as they lag four points behind pace-setters Serbia and the Republic of Ireland.

A dramatic turnaround is required and that can happen very quickly over the course of the coming days. If Coleman's men beat Austria, it will give the momentum necessary to also overcome Moldova in Chisinau on Tuesday evening.

Wales will be without Neil Taylor and Joe Allen, who are suspended due to yellow-card accumulation.
Otherwise, the ex-Fulham boss has all of his key players available and has also called up two teenagers in 16-year-old Ethan Ampadu, who joined Chelsea from Exeter City in July, and 17-year-old Liverpool prospect Ben Woodburn.


Bensergi

Match Stats:

  • Wales 1-0 Austria
  • Shots: 15-10
  • Possession: 47%-53%
  • Corner kicks: 5-8


Teenager Ben Woodburn scored with a brilliant long-range strike four minutes after coming on for his international debut to breathe new life into Wales' bid to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Needing victory to maintain a realistic prospect of qualifying automatically, Wales were overrun by Austria in a goalless first half in which Marko Arnautovic and Marcel Sabitzer wasted good opportunities for the visitors.

The hosts continued to toil - seemingly to no avail - after the break until the 74th minute, when 17-year-old Woodburn unleashed a fierce 20-yard shot to send a packed Cardiff City Stadium wild.

With Serbia's victory over Moldova strengthening their position at the top of Group D, Wales remain four points behind the leaders with three games left.

However, Chris Coleman's side have closed the gap on the second-placed Republic of Ireland to two points following a draw for Martin O'Neill's men in Georgia.

Only the nine group winners in Europe's qualifying procedure automatically earn a place in next year's tournament in Russia, while the eight best runners-up enter the play-offs.

And although Wales' hopes of qualifying automatically remain out of their hands, the fact they still have any chance at all - and the manner in which Woodburn ensured that was the case - made for a delirious atmosphere in Cardiff.


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