Austria 2-0 Moldova
Andreas Herzog scored both goals as Austria got their EURO 2004™ qualifying campaign off to the perfect start with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Group 3 rivals Moldova in Vienna.
Captain Herzog, left out of his country's last friendly against Switzerland by coach Hans Krankl, secured the three points for Austria with two well-taken penalties. The Austrians showed little during a rather tepid affair, but earned the points ahead of the forthcoming qualifiers against Belarus and the Netherlands.
Ghenadie Olexic brought down Thomas Flögel in the fourth minute, leaving Herzog to convert from the spot. Flögel was impeded inside the Moldovan penalty are again on the half-hour mark and Herzog kept his cool to make it 2-0.
Despite the early goals, Austria were given a rough ride by the visitors. Goalkeeper Alex Manninger had a relatively easy night, but the hosts lacked precision in attack and wasted several good chances. Romand Wallner, Ivica Vastic and Herzog all missed their opportunities, while Moldova coach Viktor Pasulko introduced two new players at half-time and gave the visitors added impetus.
Jürgen Panis missed another good chance for the hosts four minutes from time, but by then the victory was complete and Austria now will be brimming with confidence.