August 3, 2021

Conference League: Only a draw: Austria must fear promotion

After a difficult initial phase, Austria got into the game better and deservedly took the lead thanks to Marco Djuricin (32nd). But the Icelanders punished the Viennese just 64 seconds after the restart and secured a draw through Alexander Sigurdarson (47th) after the hosts had reduced in the second half.

The second leg will take place next Thursday in Kopavogur, in Iceland no club team from Austria has won yet. At least the away goals rule, which has been abolished, is no longer in the way. If the promotion is successful, qualifying round three (August 5th or 12th) will probably face Aberdeen. The Scots won their first leg against BK Häcken from Sweden on Thursday with 5-1.

Compensation for 1: 1 by Sigurdarson (47th minute)

Breidablik gets the chance to equalize from a bad pass and uses this right after the start of the second half of the game. Alexander Sigurdarson scores 1: 1.

Newcomer Martins makes his competitive debut

“It will be a yardstick against a good and exciting opponent,” Manfred Schmid had previously emphasized. Compared to the lackluster 4: 0 in the first round of the cup at the away game in Spittal / Drau, Austria’s new coach only changed his starting line-up in one position. The newcomer Marvin Martins from Luxembourg, who was absent from the cup due to muscle problems, started instead of Benedikt Pichler.

The first purple European Cup appearance in almost two years was attended by 6,015 spectators in Viola Park – just as the Austria arena is officially formed in UEFA competitions. At the beginning they saw an Icelandic team that was not hiding. Martins immediately felt their harshness, but Breidablik also showed presence in front of the goal. Damir Muminovic checked for a corner from Austria goalkeeper Patrick Pentz, who was able to parry the defender’s shot (6th).

Pentz called for the first time (6th minute)

After a series of corners, Breidablik has the first good chance of the game. Austria goalkeeper Patrick Pentz is challenged, but holds sovereign.

The third of the current Icelandic championship, who had eliminated Racing Union from Luxembourg in round one with a total score of 5: 2, presented – as Schmid also communicated – as a joyful team that put Austria under pressure at times.

Austria is catching up, but is lucky

However, the Viennese caught up in their second competition game this season and came to their first degree through Manfred Fischer (11th). Three minutes later, the hosts were lucky that referee Kari Hövdanum from the Faroe Islands had his whistle muted in a duel between Johannes Handl and Gisli Eyjolfsson in the sixteenth, but that sounded like a wake-up call for the “violets”.

First, Breidablik goalie Anton Einarsson saved the guests from falling behind when Fischer headed him to make a great save (17th). Austria got the game and the opponent better under control and approached the 1-0. A solo by Dominik Fitz on the left was just as unrewarded as a hidden shot by defender Christian Schoissengeyr after Fitz’s free-kick cross (29th), which Einarsson was once again able to parry brilliantly.

Schoissengeyr fails to goalie (29th minute)

Christian Schoissengeyr convinces with a sharp and well-placed shot at the opponent’s goal. However, the goalie also shows his skills and skilfully fends off.

Djuricin puts Austria in the lead

Three minutes later, however, the fans in the stadium were finally able to cheer: After a wonderful pass from Handl into the depths, Fischer initially couldn’t control the ball, but saw the free Fitz, who carried the ball into the intersection on the penalty area. There Djuricin poked the leather over goalie Einarsson into the far corner (32nd). There was also satisfaction in the jubilation, as the striker once retired in 2013 with Sturm Graz against the Icelanders in the European Cup.

GEPA / Philipp Brem

Marco Djuricin brought Austria into the lead, but this was still given out of hand

Again three minutes later Djuricin could have scored his third goal in an international competition, but acted too casually after a pass by the busy Fitz in front of Einarsson (35th). The Icelanders found it difficult to create further chances after a good start, came to a conclusion through midfielder Viktor Einarsson, Pentz blocked the shot from distance to the side (41.).

Cold shower after the break

The good feeling that Austria had brought into the dressing room disappeared shortly after the restart. After a bad pass from Vesel Demaku, Alexander Sigurdarson took over and increased the pace. After a one-two with Arni Vilhjalmsson, Sigurdarson got the ball back in the penalty area and hit the far corner 64 seconds after the start of the second half – Pentz was powerless (47th).

Austria was visibly shocked after the equalizer and struggled. Breidablik had more of the game again, but without being really compelling. Schmid responded after an hour with a triple swap and brought veteran Alexander Grünwald, Pichler and Aleksandar Jukic into the game. However, that did not change the home side’s tired offensive performance after the break.

Match balls are awarded

Luck was also used up in the first half, because a penalty whistle after a foul on Grünwald was also missing. The left-footed player started from an offside position, but the referee team would have overlooked that. A video assistant referee is only available in this competition from the knockout phase, which currently seems out of reach for the Viennese. The ascent into the third round is already difficult after a header from Grünwald (77th) and a shot from Demaku (83rd) went past. There were match points on both sides, they were awarded from a distance first by Eyjolfsson and then by Martins in the end of the game with ups and downs.

Voices for the game:

Manfred Schmid (Austria coach): “Unfortunately we didn’t go through with our game as we planned. It was clearly seen that (Breidablik, note) is not a team that only stands in the back. They are technically and runner strong. If we don’t show total willingness to run and go into the duels, as it should be, then we get problems – and that’s how it was. “

“It was definitely not a good performance. The team fought, they tried everything in the second half. She then caught herself, but basically it wasn’t good – we don’t need to talk about it. It has to get better. We may have wanted too much, but unfortunately that didn’t work out. The team was a little tense. But the 1-1, we can build on that, and then we just have to fix it in the away game. “

Marco Djuricin (Austria goalscorer): “I don’t want to be too negative after the first game, but that was just nothing today. Breidablik was just stronger, we played it really weak. I am very disappointed. I’ve now played two games, scored two goals and been substituted twice in the 60th minute – that doesn’t suit me either, of course. I didn’t play well, and neither did the team, but I’m always good for a goal. “

“This is not okay with me. I’m also sorry for the people, they have a difficult time, come here after two years and cheer us on – and we play such football. It’s not OK. I hope that we will show a different face on Sunday, otherwise we will be very surprised. “

Oskar Hrafn Thorvaldsson (Breidablik coach): “It was a good game, I’m very happy with my team. We were good at the game from the very first minute, we played pressing and built up the game from behind. This is our identity. I’m happy with my team, it gives us good chances for the second leg. Even before we equalized, we thought we would be close. Austria is still the favorite, but we can do it. “

Europa Conference League, qualification, second round, first leg

Thursday:

Austria – Breidablik 1:1 (1:0)

Viola Park, 6,015 spectators, SR Hövdanum (FRO)

Goal sequence:
1: 0 Djuricin (32nd)
1:1 Sigurdarson (47.)

Austria: Pentz – Martins, Schoissengeyr, Handl, Suttner – Martel, Demaku (89./Keles) – Teigl (63./Jukic), Fitz (62./Grünwald), Fischer – Djuricin (63./Pichler)

Breidablik: A. Einarsson – Gunnlaugsson, Muminovic, Margeirsson, Ingvarsson (57./Atlason) – V. Einarsson, Sigurjonsson, Sigurdarson (71./Yeoman) – Eyjolfsson, Steindorsson, Vilhjalmsson

Yellow cards: Handl, Martel, Demaku or none

Second leg on July 29th (9:00 p.m.) in Kopavogur – promoted team plays in the third round against winners from Aberdeen / BK Häcken (first leg: 5: 1)