Austria looking to upset Parma

Parma FC have won four of their five home UEFA Cup matches and have never lost to an Austrian side.

Austria fell behind to Andrea Pisanu's deflected 34th-minute strike against the run of play, but hit back strongly and got their equaliser on 61 minutes, Sebastian Mila becoming the first player to score against Parma in five games in the knockout stage.

The Gialloblú have won four of their five matches at their Ennio Tardini home in Europe this season, while Austria have been similarly impressive on their travels. They qualified from the group stage with a 2-1 victory at Dutch Cup holders FC Utrecht before winning 2-1 at Athletic Club Bilbao and drawing 2-2 at Real Zaragoza, against whom they advanced on the away goals rule.

Italian clubs have traditionally dominated Austrian opposition, with Parma's fine record against Austrian clubs beginning in the 1999/00 UEFA Cup, when they met SK Sturm Graz in the third round. A 2-1 first-leg victory in Italy, sealed by goals from Marco Di Vaio and Stefano Torrisi, was followed by an absorbing encounter in Austria, where extra-time goals from Mario Stanic and Hernán Crespo sealed a 5-4 aggregate triumph.

Parma made more comfortable progress last season, overcoming SV Austria Salzburg 9-0 in the second round. The Italian side won 4-0 in Salzburg thanks to a penalty from Emanuele Filippini and second-half goals from Alberto Gilardino, Hidetoshi Nakata and Alessandro Rosina. The Gialloblú went one better on home soil, Benito Carbone and Tonino Sorrentino each scoring twice plus a goal from Filippini making it 5-0.

Austria have recorded just one UEFA club competition win against Serie A opposition. That memorable success came in the third round of the 1983/84 UEFA Cup, when they eliminated FC Internazionale Milano with a 3-2 aggregate scoreline. Austria won 2-1 in Vienna thanks to two goals in the last 13 minutes from Hungarian international captain Tibor Nyilasi after Carlo Muraro had given the visitors the lead. Austria then forced a draw in Milan after another Hungarian international, István Magyar, broke the deadlock on 73 minutes and rendered Salvatore Bagni's equaliser on the night irrelevant. The Austrian side lost at the hands of eventual winners Tottenham Hotpsur FC in the next round.

However, Austria have lost their other two ties against Italian clubs without scoring a goal. In the 1971/72 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, Torino Calcio proved successful in the second round when Aldo Agroppi's 81st-minute strike in the first leg in Turin proved to be the only goal of the entire tie. Juventus FC were far more comfortable winners when they met Austria in the same competition 19 seasons later, wrapping up 4-0 victories in both legs, the second of which featured a Roberto Baggio hat-trick.

Whereas Parma are unbeaten in five matches against Austrian clubs (won three, drawn two), Austria have won just once and drawn and lost on two occasions against sides from Italy. The four goals they have scored in those games have all been by foreign players.

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