The Austrian women’s national football team suffered a bitter last-minute defeat in the last test before the Nations League kicked off. A badly weakened ÖFB selection held to zero against Iceland on Tuesday night in front of 2,300 spectators in Wiener Neustadt before Havron Raquel Haldorsdottir scored in the 90th minute. The hosts had better chances, but suffered a second defeat in six caps in 2023.
However, after the game, in which Sarah Bontigam played the official captaincy for the first time, positivity prevailed. In defense, new substitutes can be found from abroad. However, the injury also increased due to the early failure of right winger Claudia Wenger. The Nations League begins on September 22 in the World Cup participants Norway. We hope Julia Hecklesburger-Fuller, who was honored as the 2022 Soccer Player of the Year ahead of the game, is back in shape again.
After the failures of Laura Weinreuther, Katharina Schechtel, Katharina Naschoeng, and Verena Hanshaw, Erin Furman had to improvise at the linebacker positions. Wenger had a chance on the right, and Marina Georgieva, who usually plays in the middle, defended on the left. However, after a short period, it was necessary to make a change in defense, which was working for the first time in this lineup. Wenger, who had sustained serious injuries in the past, retired after a rescue with a suspected knee injury. Midfielder Annabelle Schaching replaced them in an unfamiliar situation.
Up to that point it had become dangerous on both sides. Bontijam’s shot missed the goal, in return Manuela Zinsberger had to save Wilhelm’sdottir’s shot from the short corner (9 each). Otherwise, the ÖFB defense presented itself pretty aggressively and didn’t allow anything dangerous. The opening goal was up in the air on the other side.
Barbara Dunst (20), Victoria Benther (21), who was called up on the front line, and above all Marie-Thérèse Hoppinger with a shot from the second row at the crossbar (36), signaled their danger. Shortly before the break, Donst’s shot was parried by Cecilia Ranarsdottir, but Penther did not put the ball into the goal.
After the start of the second half, there was almost a blow to the neck. Iceland’s star player Sveindis Jonsdottir was once shrugged, but then fired the ball wide (48′). On the other hand, he tested the powerful Hoppinger Islands goalkeeper (55th). Dilja Zomers could push the visitors forward after three minutes, but he lacked the necessary efficiency (58′). As a result, the locals felt more out of the game, but were unable to get the most out of it.
The junkie shot it at the best opportunity (84). Michela Croato made her debut in New Corps Leipzig. However, it didn’t end in a draw, as Halldorsdottir was able to exploit negligence in the ÖFB defense and score from close range. This second meeting with Iceland after the impressive 3-0 at EM 2017 ended without a sense of accomplishment.
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