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Dominant Austria on top in Group 1

Austria eased to first place in Group 1 with 13 goals scored in three successive wins, Bulgaria edging out hosts Hungary for second position on the section's final day.

Austria's Christian Gartner (left) puts Attila Lőrinczy of Hungary under pressure
Austria's Christian Gartner (left) puts Attila Lőrinczy of Hungary under pressure ©mlsz.hu

Austria were in dominant form in UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualifying round Group 1, winning all three games with 13 goals scored and only two conceded. Their final-day defeat of Hungary had major repercussions for their opponents, who were edged out by Bulgaria for second place.

The tone was set from the first whistle, Austria overrunning Andorra 9-0 on matchday one with Kevin Friesenbichler scoring a hat-trick and also missing a penalty. The same day Kristiyan Petkov's 46th-minute equaliser cancelled out Márk Szécsi's first-half goal to earn Bulgaria a point against the hosts, Hungary, that would prove significant in the final reckoning.

Austria's serene progress was temporarily interrupted when Milcho Angelov headed Bulgaria into an early lead in the second round of matches. When Friesenbichler went off with two broken bones in his hand, their prospects looked bleaker still. However, his replacement, Alexander Frank, struck twice in five minutes midway through the second half to secure the points.

Hungary stayed in contention with a 3-0 success against Andorra to need just a draw on the last day to join their third and final opponents in the elite round draw. They were on the back foot from the outset, though, Thomas Murg prodding Austria into an 18th-minute lead and, after Frank had hit a post and Murg's penalty had clipped the top of the crossbar, Bernhard Luxbacher doubled Hungary's deficit in the 66th minute. Despite László Kleinheisler pulling one back from the penalty spot, they were unable to find an equaliser, leaving themselves vulnerable should Bulgaria win heavily against Andorra.

So it proved as Andorra were beaten 7-0 – hindered by Victor Calviño scoring two own goals – with Milcho Angelov netting twice in the closing six minutes. That victory meant Bulgaria and Hungary both finished on four points, with the former claiming second place on goal difference.