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Nacional blow lightweight Austria away

CD Nacional 5-1 FK Austria Wien
Persistently timid defending helped gift the Madeira outfit their biggest ever European victory as third crushed fourth in Group L.

Mateus and Rúben Micael celebrate Nacional's equaliser in Funchal
Mateus and Rúben Micael celebrate Nacional's equaliser in Funchal ©Getty Images

CD Nacional bid farewell to the UEFA Europa League with their biggest ever European win, thrashing FK Austria Wien 5-1 in Funchal as slack defending consigned the visitors to bottom place in Group L.

From behind
With coach Manuel Machado still too ill to perform his duties, Predrag Jokanović captained Nacional's sinking ship, but soon had reason to regret stepping into the breach. Schumacher gave Austria the lead on 21 minutes but, from then on, it was all Nacional. Rúben Micael and Mateus gave them the lead by half-time, the former doubling their advantage after the break before Darko Tomašević and Felipe Lopes pumelled the visitors into submission.

Sloppy opening
Nacional started slowly, Leandro Salinas screwing a seemingly unmissable chance woefully wide before a ducking defender allowed Milenko Ačimovič's cross to come to Schumacher, whose first-time shot arrowed through Rafael Bracali's legs and in. Then the tide turned. The hosts levelled two minutes later, the unmarked Rúben Micael completing a languid one-two with Mateus by stroking home from inside the box. The latter saw the Austria defence part invitingly again on 33 minutes; his run from midfield met no challenge before he flicked deftly inside the undefended Robert Almer's right-hand post.

Classy saves
Having been afforded little chance to do so earlier, Almer showed his skills between the posts by pushing Nejc Pečnik's goalbound downward header on to the crossbar before the interval, and his opposite number proved no less agile as the second half kicked off, with Bracali brilliantly denying Schumacher a second.

Resistance crumbles
Austria then gave up the ghost. A swift break through midfield on 57 minutes saw Rúben Micael breeze through for Nacional's third, and it was 4-1 four minutes later, Tomašević rising unmarked to head in a sweeping Rúben Micael free-kick. Felipe Lopes made similarly light work of heading Nacional's fifth from Mateus' cross.