'Ireland were fortunate to get a point' - Austria reacts to late World Cup draw

One Austrian newspaper described how the Irish were ‘up to their necks in water’ late in the second-half.

Christian Fuchs can not prevent Shane Long's backheel.
Christian Fuchs can not prevent Shane Long's backheel.
Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

AUSTRIA’S PLAYERS WERE delighted to salvage a point from their World Cup qualifier with Ireland but their captain, Christian Fuchs, looks back on the game as an opportunity squandered.

Speaking to Austrian newspaper Die Presse after the 2-2 draw, Fuchs declared that his team deserved the win.

He said, “Ireland were fortunate to get a point. We were the better team, had them under constant pressure but were rewarded with just a point.”

“This point could prove valuable,” Fuchs added.

David Alaba, who scorched in the late, deflected equaliser, was already looking ahead to his side’s next qualifier, against Sweden. The current Austrian Footballer of the Year had time to reflect on his strike:

I did not have time to think about it. I just shot.”

Zlatko Junuzovic’s withdrawal in the first-half, following a hefty challenge by James McCarthy, badly affected the Austrians, according their defender Emanuel Pogatetz.

Pogatetz, who admitted he had not been “smart” to concede a first half penalty, argued that Junuzovic was positioned on the back post in training drills for corner kicks.

The midfielder’s absence was keenly felt when Jon Walters glanced a header in off the back post to make it 2-1.

‘Bashing the ball’

Goalkeeper Heinz Linder, playing in only his fourth game for Austria, admitted the international standard of football was higher than he usually experiences in the German Bundesliga.

Speaking about the sharp reflexes he showed to keep out a goal-bound header from his own defender, Linder said, “It all happened so quickly. All of a sudden, the ball was in front of me and I was glad that I got my hand up in time.”

What are they
really like?

Rare insights on sport's biggest names from the writers who know them best. Listen to Behind the Lines podcast.

Become a Member

Austrian journalist Tom Schaffer, who was at the match in the Aviva Stadium, praised the visitors for their pressing of Giovanni Trapattoni’s ‘flat, predictable 4-4-2′.

He wrote, “Trapattoni realised his team were up to their necks in water. He put on defensive Paul Green for Shane Long to mop up some of that water.

“The Irish, by now, were bashing the ball as far away from their goal as possible.”

We must believe: Trapattoni sends out rallying call to deflated Ireland

About the author:

Patrick McCarry

Read next: