UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group G winners Austria twice came from behind to record a 3-2 success against Montenegro in Podgorica, eliminating their hosts in the process.
The eventual victors did not start like a team on a seven-match winning streak. Initially more assured, they nonetheless lacked drive and appeared short on ideas. Montenegro, having established a foothold, quickly showed that a lack of creativity was not an issue. They took the lead just after the half-hour, Nikola Vukčević's splendidly weighted pass – easily the most imaginative act of the opening period – playing in Mirko Vučinić to scuff past the advancing Robert Almer.
The goal invigorated the hosts on and off the pitch. Fatos Bećiraj nearly doubled their advantage two minutes later but – after a marauding run down the left – was denied by Almer at his near post.
However, Almer's opposite number Vukašin Poleksić could do little to stop the Alpine side equalising ten minutes into the second half. A neat interchange of midfield passes released Martin Harnik, who reached the byline, turned back on himself and squared across goal for Marc Janko to sweep in at the back post.
Montenegro came straight back, though, Bećiraj restoring their lead on 68 minutes with a low shot after Austria had failed to clear a corner. Podgorica believed again, yet it would soon turn sour. Marko Arnautovic's leveller – a fine solo effort inside a crowded penalty box – was followed by Vučinić's dismissal and, deep into added time, Marcel Sabitzer's emphatic first-time finish after more fine work from Harnik. Game over for Montenegro; game on for Austria.
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