Last updated 12/10/2018 12:12CET
UEFA Nations League: Austria - Northern Ireland Match press kits

UEFA Nations League - 2018/19 SeasonMatch press kits

AustriaAustriaErnst-Happel-Stadion - ViennaFriday 12 October 2018
20.45CET (20.45 local time)
Group B3 - Matchday 3
Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland
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Previous meetings Only this chapter

Head to Head

FIFA World Cup
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
12/10/2005QR (GS)Austria - Northern Ireland2-0
ViennaAufhauser 44, 90
13/10/2004QR (GS)Northern Ireland - Austria3-3BelfastHealy 36, Murdock 60, Elliott 90; Schopp 14, 72, Mayrleb 61
EURO '96
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
15/11/1995PR (GS)Northern Ireland - Austria5-3
BelfastO'Neill 27, 76, Dowie 32 (P), Hunter 53, Gray 64; Schopp 56, Stumpf 70, Wetl 80
12/10/1994PR (GS)Austria - Northern Ireland1-2
ViennaPolster 24; Gillespie 2, Gray 35
EURO '92
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
16/10/1991PR (GS)Northern Ireland - Austria2-1
BelfastDowie 18, Black 42; Lainer 44
14/11/1990PR (GS)Austria - Northern Ireland0-0Vienna
1984 UEFA European Championship
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
21/09/1983PR (GS)Northern Ireland - Austria3-1
BelfastHamilton 28, Whiteside 67, O'Neill 89; Gasselich 83
13/10/1982PR (GS)Austria - Northern Ireland2-0
ViennaSchachner 3, 39
FIFA World Cup
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
01/07/1982GS-FTAustria - Northern Ireland2-2MadridPezzey 49, Hintermaier 67; Hamilton 27, 75
 QualifyingFinal tournamentTotal
Northern Ireland43104112101094321715

Last updated 10/10/2018 15:23CET

Squad list Only this chapter

Austria - Squad list
League phase
1Heinz Lindner17/07/199028Grasshoppers - 10
12Richard Strebinger14/02/199325Rapid Wien - 00
13Cican Stankovic04/11/199225Salzburg - 00
2Andreas Ulmer30/10/198532Salzburg - 00
3Aleksandar Dragović06/03/199127Leverkusen - 00
4Martin Hinteregger07/09/199226Augsburg*10
5Kevin Wimmer15/11/199225Hannover - 00
8Maximilian Wöber04/02/199820Ajax - 00
15Sebastian Prödl21/06/198731Watford - 10
20Stefan Lainer27/08/199226Salzburg*10
6Stefan Ilsanker18/05/198929Leipzig - 10
9Marcel Sabitzer17/03/199424Leipzig - 10
10Louis Schaub29/12/199423Köln - 10
11Konrad Laimer27/05/199721Leipzig - 00
14Stefan Hierländer03/02/199127Sturm - 00
16Peter Žulj09/06/199325Sturm - 10
17Florian Kainz24/10/199225Bremen - 00
18Alessandro Schöpf07/02/199424Schalke - 00
22Valentino Lazaro24/03/199622Hertha - 10
23Xaver Schlager28/09/199721Salzburg - 00
7Marko Arnautović19/04/198929West Ham - 10
19Guido Burgstaller29/04/198929Schalke - 10
21Marc Janko25/06/198335Lugano - 00
-Franco Foda23/04/196652 - 10
Northern Ireland - Squad list
League phase
1Bailey Peacock-Farrell29/10/199621Leeds - 10
12Trevor Carson05/03/198830Motherwell - 00
23Michael McGovern12/07/198434Norwich - 00
2Conor McLaughlin26/07/199127Millwall - 10
4Michael Smith04/09/198830Hearts - 00
5Jonny Evans03/01/198830Leicester - 10
17Paddy McNair27/04/199523Middlesbrough - 00
18Aaron Hughes08/11/197938Hearts - 00
20Craig Cathcart06/02/198929Watford - 10
22Tom Flanagan21/10/199126Sunderland - 00
3Jamal Lewis25/01/199820Norwich - 10
6George Saville01/06/199325Middlesbrough - 10
8Steven Davis01/01/198533Southampton - 10
11Shane Ferguson12/07/199127Millwall - 00
13Corry Evans30/07/199028Blackburn - 00
14Stuart Dallas19/04/199127Leeds - 10
15Jordan Jones24/10/199423Kilmarnock - 00
16Oliver Norwood12/04/199127Sheff. United - 10
21Josh Magennis15/08/199028Bolton - 00
7Gavin Whyte31/01/199622Oxford - 00
9Will Grigg03/07/199127Wigan - 11
10Liam Boyce08/04/199127Burton - 10
19Kyle Vassell17/02/199325Rotherham - 00
-Michael O'Neill05/07/196949 - 10

Last updated 12/10/2018 12:12CET

Head coach Only this chapter

Franco Foda

Date of birth: 23 April 1966
Nationality: German
Playing career: Kaiserslautern (twice), Arminia Bielefeld, Saarbrücken, Bayer Leverkusen, Stuttgart, Basel, Sturm Graz
Coaching career: Sturm Graz (three times), Kaiserslautern, Austria

• Born in Mainz to a German mother and Italian father, Foda started his playing career at Weisenau and joined Mainz, then in the third tier, in his youth. As a professional he played in 321 German Bundesliga games, winning the German Cup with both Kaiserslautern and Leverkusen.

• In 1987, the defender was called up by the West German national team for a South America tour. He played against Argentina and Brazil, his only two international caps.

• Foda ended his career with a highly successful four-year spell at Austrian club Sturm Graz, with whom he won three league titles and also reached the UEFA Champions League group stage three years running.

• After hanging up his boots, Foda remained in Styria and moved into coaching, initially as an assistant to the experienced Ivan Osim before taking over as Sturm's head coach in 2002.

• He would spend the best part of the next decade and a half at Sturm, punctuating his tenure only with a single season back in Germany with Kaiserslautern (2012/13) after leading Sturm to victories in the 2009/10 Austrian Cup and the following season's Bundesliga. In October 2017 he was appointed Marcel Koller's successor as head coach of the Austrian national team, taking over the reins in January 2018.


Michael O'Neill

Date of birth: 5 July 1969
Nationality: Northern Irish
Playing career: Coleraine, Newcastle, Dundee United, Hibernian, Coventry, Aberdeen (loan), Reading (loan), Wigan, Saint Johnstone, Portland Timbers, Clydebank, Glentoran, Ayr United
Coaching career: Brechin City, Shamrock Rovers, Northern Ireland

• A midfielder and forward during a 20-year playing career, O'Neill spent the bulk of his time in Scotland, most notably with Dundee United and Hibernian. Enjoyed late success when winning a Northern Irish league and League Cup double with Glentoran in 2002/03.

• Made 31 appearances for his country, scoring four goals, two of which came in a memorable 5-3 victory against Austria during EURO '96 qualifying.

• Moved into coaching as assistant manager of Scottish club Cowdenbeath in 2005 before taking the reins at Brechin in March 2006. Was named coach of Shamrock Rovers in the Republic of Ireland in December 2008, guiding the Hoops to a second-place finish in his debut season before clinching their first title since 1994 in 2010.

• Made history as Rovers became the first Irish side to qualify for the group stage of a European competition, beating Partizan in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League play-offs. Also led the Hoops to a second successive domestic championship in 2011.

• Appointed coach of his country in December 2011 and helped Northern Ireland record several notable results in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying, including a 1-1 draw in Portugal and a home win against Russia. Even better was to come as O'Neill steered his charges to UEFA EURO 2016, their first UEFA European Championship appearance, taking Northern Ireland to the last 16 at the finals in France, and agreed a new contract despite losing out to Switzerland in the 2018 World Cup play-offs.


Match officials Only this chapter

  • RefereeGeorgi Kabakov (BUL)
  • Assistant refereesMartin Margaritov (BUL) , Divan Valkov (BUL)
  • Additional assistant refereesIvaylo Stoyanov (BUL) , Nikolai Yordanov (BUL)
  • Fourth officialGeorgi Todorov (BUL)
  • UEFA DelegatePaolo Rondelli (SMR)
  • UEFA Referee observerJuan Antonio Fernandez Marin (ESP)


NameDate of birthUEFA matches
Georgi Kabakov22/02/1986038

UEFA Nations League matches between the two teams

No such matches refereed

Other matches involving teams from either of the two countries involved in this match

DateCompetitionStage reachedHomeAwayResultVenue
11/07/2013UEL1QRGlentoran FCKR Reykjavík0-3Belfast
05/03/2014U21QRNorthern IrelandItaly0-2Lurgan
09/10/2016U19QRBosnia and HerzegovinaAustria1-3Marijampole

Last updated 10/10/2018 15:53CET

Competition facts Only this chapter

What is the background to the UEFA Nations League?

The rejuvenation of national team football – and the UEFA Nations League – stems from the desire of UEFA and its 55 member associations to improve the quality and standing of national team football. UEFA and its associations wanted more sporting meaning in national team football, with associations, coaches, players and supporters increasingly of the opinion that friendly matches are not providing adequate competition for national teams.

Extensive consultation and discussions started as far back as the 2011 UEFA Strategy Meeting in Cyprus and continued at a series of Top Executive Programme (TEP) meetings over the following three years. The UEFA Nations League was unanimously adopted at the XXXVIII Ordinary UEFA Congress in Astana on 27 March 2014.

What is the basic format?

  • The format of the UEFA Nations League features promotion and relegation. The 55 European national teams have been divided into four leagues in accordance with UEFA's national association coefficient rankings on 11 October 2017.
  • League A includes the top-ranked sides and League D includes the lowest:

League A

Group A1: Germany, France, Netherlands
Group A2: Belgium, Switzerland, Iceland
Group A3: Portugal, Italy, Poland
Group A4: Spain, England, Croatia

  • Teams have been split into four groups of three, with the group winners then contesting the UEFA Nations League Finals (semi-finals, third-place match and final) in June 2019 to become the UEFA Nations League winners. One host country will be appointed in December 2018 from among the finalist teams.
  • The four teams that finish bottom of their groups will be relegated to League B for the 2020 edition.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer.

League B

Group B1: Slovakia, Ukraine, Czech Republic
Group B2: Russia, Sweden, Turkey
Group B3: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Ireland
Group B4: Wales, Republic of Ireland, Denmark

  • Teams have been split into four groups of three.
  • The four group winners are promoted to League A, with the four sides that finish bottom relegated to League C for the next competition to be played in 2020.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer

League C

Group C1: Scotland, Albania, Israel
Group C2: Hungary, Greece, Finland, Estonia
Group C3: Slovenia, Norway, Bulgaria, Cyprus
Group C4: Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Lithuania

  • Teams have been split into one group of three (containing teams from Pots 1, 2 and 3 only) and three groups of four.
  • Due to winter venue restrictions, a group could contain a maximum of two of these teams: Norway, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania.
  • The four group winners are promoted to League B, with the four sides that finish bottom relegated to League D for the 2020 edition.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer.

League D

Group D1: Georgia, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Andorra
Group D2: Belarus, Luxembourg, Moldova, San Marino
Group D3: Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands, Malta, Kosovo
Group D4: FYR Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar

  • Teams have been split into four groups of four.
  • Due to excessive travel restrictions, any group could not contain a maximum of one of these pairs: Andorra & Kazakhstan, Faroe Islands & Kazakhstan, Gibraltar & Kazakhstan, Gibraltar & Azerbaijan
  • The four group winners are promoted to League C for the 2020 edition.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer.

  • Leagues A and B consist of four groups of three teams
  • League C comprises one group of three teams and three groups of four sides
  • League D is formed by four groups of four teams
  • The League Phase Draw for the UEFA Nations League took place at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne on 24 January 2018.
  • In each league, four group winners are promoted (or play in the Finals, see below) and four teams are relegated for the next competition to be played in 2020.
  • The overall UEFA Nations League rankings will determine the composition of the draw pots for the subsequent European Qualifiers.
  • In addition, the UEFA Nations League will provide teams with another chance to qualify for the UEFA EURO final tournament, with four sides qualifying through play-off matches which take place in March 2020 (see below).

When will the UEFA Nations League take place?

The UEFA Nations League will take place as follows:

  • See the full fixture list.
  • The UEFA Nations League group games are being held over six matchdays, during the 'double-headers' in September, October and November 2018. The UEFA Nations League Finals competition for the teams that win the four groups within the top division is scheduled for June 2019.
  • For the UEFA Nations League Finals, the group winners of UEFA Nations League A will play in a knockout format (semi-finals, third-place match and final) in June 2019 to become the UEFA Nations League winners. One host country will be formally appointed by the UEFA Executive Committee in December 2018 from one of the nations competing in the final four. Italy, Poland and Portugal (all in Group A3) have expressed interest.
  • The play-off matches will be staged in March 2020 (see below).

Will qualifying for the UEFA EURO change?

The changes to UEFA EURO qualifying will make it more streamlined. The equation is now simple: ten groups with the top two teams in each group qualifying automatically, and the other four places being awarded to European Qualifiers play-off winners, in which the 16 group winners of the UEFA Nations League will be in contention.

The UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying draw will be made after the completion of the UEFA Nations League and allow for the four UEFA Nations League Finals participants to be drawn into groups of five teams.

But the key principle of the qualifiers remains: that every team can play every team.

The European Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2020 commence in March 2019. There will be two matchdays in each of March, June, September, October and November 2019. In total, there will be five groups of five teams and five groups of six teams (ten groups in all) playing over ten matchdays (the same number as now). The winner and runner-up in each of the ten groups will qualify automatically for the UEFA EURO 2020 final tournament (June 2020).

  • The last four EURO places will be won through the European Qualifiers play-offs, which will take place in March 2020 and which will be contested by the 16 UEFA Nations League group winners.
  • If a group winner has already qualified via the European Qualifiers, then their spot will go to the next best-ranked team in their league. If a league does not have four teams to compete, the remaining slots are allocated to teams from another league, according to the overall UEFA Nations League ranking.  
  • Each league will have a path of its own and each path will feature two single-leg semi-finals and one single-leg final. The winner of each path will win a ticket to UEFA EURO 2020.

How are the overall UEFA Nations League rankings calculated?

Within each league (A, B, C and D), the overall ranking will be calculated based on position in the group then points, goal difference, goals scored, away goals scored, wins, away wins, disciplinary points, coefficient ranking.

What are the advantages for national associations and teams?

National associations and coaches, in consultations with UEFA, revealed that they feel that friendly internationals are not providing adequate sporting competition. The UEFA Nations League creates more meaningful and competitive matches for teams and a dedicated calendar and structure for national team football.

Top teams can also aspire to take part in the UEFA Nations League Finals, a new top-level event.

For middle-ranking and smaller nations, the UEFA Nations League will offer an extra way to qualify for UEFA EURO final tournaments. Lower-tier countries – the bottom 16 in the rankings – are now guaranteed one of the 24 qualifying slots for UEFA EURO.

Lower-ranking teams who have struggled against sides ranked considerably higher than them will now get the chance to take part in balanced matches. Teams do not learn and progress by repeatedly losing; now some sides will start winning.

While the UEFA Nations League will replace most friendly internationals, there will still be space in the calendar for friendlies, especially for top teams who may want to face opposition from outside Europe as they will be in groups of three teams.

Associations and teams benefit from clarity of the fixture calendar, and there is now a clear buffer between the end of the UEFA EURO and FIFA World Cup, and vice versa, as well as stability of income.

What are the advantages for supporters?

Supporters more than most realise that most friendlies fail to deliver competitive and meaningful football. Now they will have the opportunity to see their teams play in more competitive matches, take part in a new competition and get a second chance to qualify for the major tournaments.

In every even year there are World Cup or UEFA EURO champions; now in every odd year there will be a UEFA Nations League winners. Football is about competition and now, just like in club football, there will be a national team champion at the close of every season.

Will this mean more demands on players and clubs?

No: the UEFA Nations League and European Qualifiers will adhere to the existing agreed international match calendar. UEFA is always keen to preserve the balance between club and international football. The new competition should, in fact, reduce demands on players and clubs with less travel envisaged for friendly games while national teams will be playing more consistently at their own level. With double-header matchweeks, players will even go back to their clubs earlier than is currently the case.

Is this just about generating more revenue?

No, finances are not a driver for the new competition. However, the competition will have the same centralised media rights as have recently been introduced for all European Qualifiers so associations will have even more stability in their income.

Will there be no more friendly internationals?

There will certainly be fewer friendly internationals and undoubtedly fewer meaningless friendlies. However, there will still be space in the calendar for friendly internationals – particularly warm-up matches for final tournaments. UEFA is also keen that European teams will still have the chance to play opponents from other confederations.


Match-by-match lineups Only this chapter


  • UEFA Nations League - Group stage – final tournament
    Group B3 - Group Standings
    Bosnia and Herzegovina2200316
    Northern Ireland1001120
    Matchday 2 (11/09/2018)
    Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-0 Austria
    1-0 Džeko 78
    Lindner, Hinteregger, Ilsanker (86 Schaub), Arnautović, Alaba, Gregoritsch (72 Sabitzer), Prödl, Žulj, Grillitsch (81 Burgstaller), Lainer, Lazaro
  • Matchday 3 (12/10/2018)
    Austria-Northern Ireland
  • Matchday 5 (15/11/2018)
    Austria-Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Matchday 6 (18/11/2018)
    Northern Ireland-Austria

Northern Ireland

  • UEFA Nations League - Group stage – final tournament
    Matchday 1 (08/09/2018)
    Northern Ireland 1-2 Bosnia and Herzegovina
    0-1 Duljević 36, 0-2 Sarić 64, 1-2 Grigg 90+3
    Peacock-Farrell, C. McLaughlin (69 Boyce), Lewis, J. Evans, Saville, McGinn (76 Ward), S. Davis, K. Lafferty (69 Grigg), Dallas, Norwood, Cathcart
  • Matchday 3 (12/10/2018)
    Austria-Northern Ireland
  • Matchday 4 (15/10/2018)
    Bosnia and Herzegovina-Northern Ireland
  • Matchday 6 (18/11/2018)
    Northern Ireland-Austria

Last updated 10/10/2018 15:37CET



  • Disclaimer: Although UEFA has taken all reasonable care that the information contained within this document is accurate at the time of publication, no representation or guarantee (including liability towards third parties), expressed or implied, is made as to its accuracy, reliability or completeness. Therefore, UEFA assumes no liability for the use or interpretation of information contained herein. More information can be found in the competition regulations available on