Erwin Hoffer scored the only goal as Austria defeated Slovakia 1-0 at the Waldstadion in Pasching to become the first team to qualify for the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs as the winners of Group 7.
Coach Manfred Zsak fielded Hoffer – who scored a hat-trick in SK Rapid Wien's recent 7-0 win at Austrian champions FC Salzburg – alongside Marco Stankovic in attack, and the move paid dividends in the seventh minute as the striker gathered a ball from Zlatko Junuzovic, evaded his marker Martin Tóth and slipped the ball past L'uboš Kamenár in the Slovakian goal. Andreas Dober and Mario Reiter had chances to add to Austria's lead before Pavel Jurco missed the target from close range for Slovakia.
Austria stayed in control during the second half, despite the introduction of Chelsea FC teenager Miroslav Stoch for Slovakia, with Michael Madl going close and Veli Kavlak forcing a save out of Kamenár from the rebound. The visitors were a man up in the closing stages as Andreas Dober was shown the red card for a foul, but could not take advantage as Juraj Kucka was dismissed to even up the numbers.