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Austria triumph to clinch third

Austria 2-1 Switzerland
Hermann Stadler's men fell short of reaching the semi-finals but secured a place at the FIFA U-17 World Cup as a win cemented third spot in Group A.

Austria triumph to clinch third
Austria triumph to clinch third ©UEFA.com

Austria registered their maiden win at the 2013 UEFA European Under-17 Championship, and though their 2-1 win against Switzerland did not bring a semi-final berth, Hermann Stadler's side will not leave Slovakia empty-handed.

The hosts' draw with Sweden in the other game in the section meant the efforts of both Austria and their opponents were destined to end in the disappointment of an early exit. However, first-half goals from Dominik Baumgartner and Daniel Ripic were enough to take their nation into the FIFA U-17 World Cup later this year. Switzerland's sole consolation came in the form of Robin Kamber's stunning free-kick just before the hour mark, which gave Heinz Moser's team hopes that were ultimately dashed.

With victory the only option for Austria to maintain hopes of a semi-final slot, their play had a crisp determination about it from the off, and, when Valentino Lazaro's corner dropped in the Swiss box 11 minutes in, goalkeeper Fabian Fellmann could only react once Baumgartner's rising shot had flashed beyond him.

The cow bells rung by the boisterous Swiss contingent in the crowd reinvigorated their side, though Eric Briner's unfortunate slip on the greasy surface allowed Austria to break. Only after Adrian Grbic pulled his effort across goal must Moser have breathed a sigh of relief, though there was no respite when Ripic toe-poked beyond Fellmann to double his team's advantage.

A brilliant stop from Alexander Schlager prevented Kamber's firm header cutting that lead early in the second half, but the Swiss midfielder's arcing free-kick from 25 metres shortly afterwards was simply too good. Keen to follow Kamber's example, Grbic went for goal from a free-kick still further out, but Fellmann tipped his effort round a post.

Tobias Pellegrini and Sascha Horvath might have given their team a smoother ride to the final whistle, especially as it got particularly bumpy when Swiss defender Nico Elvedi ruffled the side-netting with an added-time header which, if it had passed the other side of the post, would have kept his country in third place in the section instead.