|1||Almer (GK)||1||Isaksson (GK)|
|12||Lindner (GK)||23||Nordfeldt (GK)|
|Marcel Koller (AUT)||Erik Hamrén (SWE)|
|Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)|
|G||Latvia||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|C||Republic of Ireland||Faroe Islands|
Austria secured a vital 2-1 victory in FIFA World Cup qualifying Group C and strode three points clear of their opponents in second spot.
Inseparable at the start of play, the two teams knew the importance of victory and it was Austria who rose to the occasion. Fleet-footed full-back David Alaba converted from the spot after 26 minutes and Marc Janko swiftly made it two, before Johan Elmander's 82nd-minute response prompted a nerve-jangling finale.
It could have been a different story, however, had Elmander not blazed over from goalkeeper Robert Almer's misplaced clearance, or Jonas Olsson failed to connect with Zlatan Ibrahimović's cross. Unperturbed, Marcel Koller's charges countered at pace and Sweden custodian Andreas Isaksson upended Martin Harnik in the area. Alaba dispatched the ensuing penalty with conviction and towering forward Janko was equally emphatic when heading in Harnik's centre.
The visiors emerged re-energised after half-time with Alexander Kačaniklić volleying centimetres wide. A sumptuous strike from Sebastian Larsson was then turned away by Almer but there was nothing he could do to stop Elmander halving the deficit. Receiving Ibrahimović's pass, the Galatasaray AŞ striker executed a deft lob, causing palpitations among the home support. Austria held their nerve, however, to stay second, five points behind frontrunners Germany.
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