The ÖFB team defeated Portugal 2-1 (0-0) in Povoa do Varzim on Tuesday and goes into the final two games of the elite league four points ahead of the Iberians.
In a dramatic five minutes, the Austrians secured the three points. Victoria Pinther took the lead in the 72nd minute, after Ana Capeta’s equalizer (75th), Eileen Campbell scored the winning goal in the 77th minute. “We are overjoyed that we were able to get the three points and that we have created an incredibly good starting position for December, that was our goal,” explained Irene Fuhrmann.
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The team boss used the same starting eleven as in the 2-1 first leg win on Friday in Altach. Different because the performance in the first half was significantly better. After the Austrians always had big problems in the previous three games before the break, Zadrazil and Co. were well in the game from the start this time. In the 4th minute, Laura Feiersinger appeared dangerously in the penalty area, but was pushed back.
Portuguese are technically strong
The fast and technically strong Portuguese tested goalkeeper Manuel Zinsberger for the first time through Francisca Nazareth (8th). The Austrians had the biggest chance in the first half through Sarah Zadrazil, who hit the crossbar in the 13th minute. The home side got stronger after that, the most dangerous thing was a shot from Jessica Silva (34th).
The Fuhrmann team came under pressure at times, but were really dangerous three times at the end of the first half. In the 41st minute, the Austrians came into the penalty area with the majority, but Zadrazil’s last pass did not reach the goal. Barbara Dunst was unable to process a Zadrazil pass in stoppage time and a minute later placed the ball too far in the penalty area. “We got off to a good start, were in control, created a few chances to score in the first half, but unfortunately couldn’t capitalize on them,” said Fuhrmann.
“The game was incredibly close”
After the substitution, the Portuguese were back in control, Zinsberger was at the post against Jessica Silva (51st) and Diana Silva (54th). But the Austrians took the lead. After winning the ball and passing through Marina Georgieva, substitute Pinther made it 1-0. The joy didn’t last long. Capeta outplayed Zinsberger, who had rushed out of the goal, and scored the celebrated equalizer. But the answer came promptly, Campbell moved towards the goal alone after Höbinger’s pass and coolly scored into the near corner.
“The game was incredibly close, with chances on both sides. In the second half the Portuguese came up at times and we held up well. We were really strong in our minds to put the 1-1 away after the 1-0 draw and immediately take the lead again “Huge compliment to the entire team,” summed up the team boss.
The Austrians have thus consolidated second place in the table and are about to remain in the best 16 nations; if they finish third they would go into a play-off. The ÖFB team continues on December 1st with the big group favorites France, and finally Norway will be guests on December 5th. “We have it in our own hands. If we still collect points in December, we can stay in the league,” said Fuhrmann.
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