Austria opened their UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 4 campaign with a 1-0 win against Albania.
Husaj Elseid's own goal nine minutes into the second half proved to be the difference between the two sides as Austria set out on the road to the Czech Republic with a win in Vlora. Albania will now have their work cut out to qualify having lost their opening three games in the section.
Austria started the match on the front foot with Marcel Ziegl bringing a fine save out of S.S. Lazio goalkeeper Thoma Strakosha in the 11th minute. The teams traded chances in a tight first half but neither side was able to make the breakthrough until after the break, when substitute Robert Žulj's strike was deflected into his own net by Elseid.
Another substitute, Enis Kavazaj then had an effort blocked as the hosts went in search of an equaliser. Indeed, Mario Morina almost earned them a point with just three minutes remaining but goalkeeper Christoph Riegler was at his best to ensure Wolfgang Luisser's side made the perfect start in Group 4.
Austria are next in action at home to Spain on 5 September before Albania play the same opponents in Logrono four days later.
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.