Team boss Dominik Thalhammer’s team won five of the eight qualifying games. There was only nothing to win against Spanish girls who had been flawless up to then, and in addition they surprisingly only managed to draw against Serbia at home. That was too little to stay in the race for a World Cup ticket.
Wiener Neustadt – Austria’s women’s national soccer team has completed qualification group 7 for the 2019 World Cup after a 4:1 (2:1) against Finland in second place. This was a more than conciliatory conclusion in Wiener Neustadt on Tuesday, after it had already been established that the play-off of the four best runners-up in the group was out of reach.
Nicole Billa (14) and Sarah Zadrazil (34) took the lead. The Finns were followed by Linda Sällström just before the break (45th). Only four minutes after the change of sides, Viktoria Pinther restored the two-goal lead (49th). Billa fixed the final score with her second goal (68.).
In addition to the clear victory, Lisa Makas also celebrated her comeback. The 26-year-old celebrated her return to the national team after 401 days after her cruciate ligament rupture at the 2017 European Championships in the Netherlands – the third serious knee injury of her career.
Nicole Billa Honours
- ÖFB-Frauenliga: Winner 2014–15
- ÖFB Ladies Cup: Winner 2013–14, 2014–15
Superior start, lead after quarter of an hour
Austria began superior to the third-placed Finns and took the lead through Billa after less than a quarter of an hour. First she pushed the ball through the legs of a defender, before she was lucky enough to get her shot deflected into the goal. Ten minutes after the lead, Billa jumped the ball just beside the goal after a nice free-kick variant (24).
After a little more than half an hour, the Finnish goalkeeper was able to distinguish herself against the Hoffenheim regional team (33.). But Minna Meriluoto was powerless at the next corner. Zadrazil extended the ball with his heel into the goal. Shortly before going into the cabins, Sällström took advantage of a carelessness in the Austrian defense and scored the flattering follow-up goal after a counterattack.
The ÖFB selection showed the right reaction after the break. Katharina Schiechtl defended the ball in the penalty area with a lot of effort. After the pass, Pinther, who had been substituted for the break, only had to complete her first team goal. After 68 minutes the strong Billa finally scored her second goal. The 22-year-old finished after Schiechtl-Assist deliberately to 4:1.
Thus the team of team boss Dominik Thalhammer won five of the eight qualification games. Only against so far flawless Spaniards there was nothing to get, moreover, against Serbia at home surprisingly only one draw was enough. That was too little to stay in the race for a World Championship ticket. See Spin Fiesta for more details.