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Austria 1-2 Denmark: Late winner gives Danes victory

Jens Stryger's sublime late strike gave Denmark victory over Austria and sent the visitors three points clear at the top of Group A1.

Highlights: Austria 1-2 Denmark

Denmark made it two wins out of two in the UEFA Nations League as Jens Stryger curled in a classy late winner to earn his side victory in Austria.

Key moments

28' Højbjerg slots in opener
67' Schlager fizzes in equaliser
71' Eriksen strike hits post
74' Arnautović denied by woodwork
84' Stryger curls in winner

Match in brief: Denmark hold off Austria fightback

Having secured impressive victories on Matchday 1, both sides looked in confident mood during an opening period scant on chances in Vienna.

The two teams played out a gripping contest
The two teams played out a gripping contestAFP via Getty Images

That would change when Christoph Baumgartner collected a raking pass from home captain David Alaba and crossed for the unmarked Sasa Kalajdzic in front of goal, the Stuttgart forward going agonisingly close to prodding the opener.

Austria would rue missing that chance when a neat passage of Denmark passing gave Rasmus Kristensen a crossing opportunity from the edge of the penalty area, the ball deflecting into the path of Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, who swept his side ahead with a ruthless finish.

Yussuf Poulsen would have made it two but for a smart close-range save from debutant Patrick Pentz, and Alaba almost scored directly from a corner, Schmeichel tipping his vicious effort over the crossbar.

Ralf Rangnick made three changes at the break in a successful effort to threaten Denmark more, sending on Marko Arnautović for his 100th cap in a bid to provide more presence inside the penalty area.

Austria enjoy their equaliser
Austria enjoy their equaliserAFP via Getty Images

The changes paid off when fellow substitute Michael Gregoritsch pounced on uncertain defending and allowed Arnautović to tee up Xaver Schlager, who fired a clinical equaliser.

Denmark almost regained the lead when Christian Eriksen hit a post via Pentz's fingertips with a spectacular long-range effort, and Arnautović also had a shot denied by the woodwork three minutes later.

There was no such frustration for Jens Stryger, who curled a superb winner beyond Pentz from distance with six minutes remaining to send Denmark three points above their opponents at the top of Group A1.

As it happened: Austria 1-2 Denmark


Johannes Sturm, match reporter

What a game that was! With Marcel Sabitzer and Arnautović on as substitutes at half-time, Austria improved after the break and Schlager scored a well-deserved equaliser to cancel out Højbjerg's neat finish. Stryger's goal was a worthy winner in a gripping contest, but Denmark can count themselves fortunate to have secured all three points as the hosts dominated the majority of the second half.

Reaction

Kasper Hjulmand, Denmark coach: "It was difficult for us. Austria pushed hard over 90 minutes. We were lucky, I have to admit. But I always believe in my team."

Ralf Rangnick passes on instructions
Ralf Rangnick passes on instructionsAFP via Getty Images

Ralf Rangnick, Austria coach: "We deserved at least a point. Unfortunately, we didn't always make the right decisions in the final third. We had enough chances for at least three goals. No one can say we did not try everything."

Marko Arnautović, Austria forward: "I am disappointed. Last time at home against Denmark [in March 2021] we lost 4-0, but today we could have won. That's bad luck. I am proud of my 100 caps but I'm not finished yet."

Key stats

  • Denmark have won 12 of their last 15 international matches, losing the other three.
  • Kasper Hjulmand's side made it six wins out of the last seven for their nation in matches against Austria.
  • They have scored in all but one of their last 16 matches, winning five of their last six Nations League games along the way.
  • Austria conceded more than one goal for only the second time in their last 11 matches in the competition.

Line-ups

Austria: Pentz; Trimmel, Posch (Danso 63), Alaba, Frieldl (Wöber 78); Seiwald; Laimer, X. Schlager, Ljubicic (Arnautović 46), Baumgartner (Sabitzer 46); Kalajdzic (Gregoritsch 46)

Denmark: Schmeichel; Andersen, Nelsson, Vestergaard (Cornelius 52), Mæhle (Stryger 66); Højbjerg, Jensen (Delaney 80); Eriksen; Kristensen, Braithwaite (Skov Olsen 52); Poulsen (Damsgaard 51)

Group 1 Live now

Played P Won W Draws D Lost L For Against Goal difference Points Pts
DEN Denmark
Playing now
4 3 0 1 6 3 3 9
CRO Croatia
Playing now
4 2 1 1 3 4 -1 7
AUT Austria
Playing now
4 1 1 2 5 5 0 4
FRA France
Playing now
4 0 2 2 3 5 -2 2

What happens after the UEFA Nations League group stage?

The four group winners in League A will advance to the knockout finals with, in principle, one appointed as hosts. The semi-finals will be played on 14 and 15 June 2023, with the final and third-place play-off to follow on 18 June.

The teams finishing fourth in the groups in Leagues A will be relegated to League B for the 2024/25 edition.