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Austria deny Russia on goal difference

Austria are through to their fourth Under-19 final tournament in eight seasons after pipping Russia to elite round Group 6 first place in Romania on goal difference.

Austria celebrate qualifying
Austria celebrate qualifying ©Octavian Cocolos

Austria are through to their fourth UEFA European Under-19 Championship in eight seasons after pipping Russia to elite round Group 6 first place on goal difference.

Having both beaten Norway and group hosts Romania, Austria and Russia went into their decider in Buftea level on six points. Austria only needed a draw though and Andreas Heraf's side duly secured a point with a mature performance to go into the finals from 17-31 July in Hungary.

After a quiet start, Austria began to take the game to Russia and in the 26th minute Peter Michorl's powerful shot shook the crossbar. Lukas Gugganig also came close while at the other ends Denis Davydov also threatened as he broke clear but delayed his shot enough for it to be smothered. In the second half Austria withdrew and Russia found no way through.

The key results perhaps were on day one. Russia saw off Norway 3-0, Davydov opening the scoring on 32 minutes and converting a penalty after the break before Arshak Koryan made it three. However, Austria defeated Romania 5-0 with four goals from Florian Grillitsch, his hat-trick already complete before half-time.

Two days later the hopes of both Romania and Norway were ended as both lost 3-1. Russia overcame the home team as although Constantin Paun-Alexandru gave Romania a half-time lead, Aleksei Miranchuk levelled just past the hour and Davydov scored on 76 and 90 minutes. Austria were three up at the break through Martin Rasner, Patrick Puchegger and Manchester City FC prospect Sinan Bytyqi before Sander Svendsen pulled one back for Norway's particularly young squad.

Romania had the consolation of third place, Ionuț Vina scoring twice in a 3-0 win against Norway. But Russia, much of whose squad won the 2013 UEFA European Under-17 Championship, were to be frustrated by Austria despite the presence of Davydov, the highest scorer in qualification with eight goals. Austria now await the draw on 19 June.