Spain denied by eliminated Austria

Spain 1-1 Austria
Austria denied Spain a perfect record in Group 4 but did not get the win they needed to join the holders in the play-offs.

Pablo Sarabia celebrates his goal
©RFEF

Austria denied Spain a perfect record in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 4 but did not get the win they needed to join the holders in the play-offs.

Spain's victory against Hungary on Thursday had settled first place in the section, but Austria still had hopes of being one of the best runners-up. However, they needed to triumph today and, after falling behind to Pablo Sarabia's strike, only levelled through Michael Gregoritsch deep into added time.

The home side, hoping to land a third straight title in the Czech Republic next June, were given a tough time in the first half but on 50 minutes Sarabia, dominating down the wings with Denis Suárez, shot in after Cican Stankovic parried in the Austria goal.

Unai López's arrival at half-time had put Spain in control and they had most of the play until just before the end when Gregoritsch ensured they did not end with eight perfect wins going into Friday's draw and October's play-offs.

Reaction:
Albert Celades, Spain coach

I'm happy with the game because we were very good for 70 minutes. Maybe we failed in the end because we tried to press when we should have slowed things down. We achieved our objective and it's because of the great work of Julen Lopetegui, the coach before me, and the players. They made this real and we have to enjoy it now.

It's good that young players from the Spain U21 team can play with the senor national team, like Munir [El Haddadi]. That means that we have good players who can improve.

Pablo Sarabia, Spain scorer
I'm very happy with the game and the goal, but we wanted to win and we only managed a draw. We have a good team, but we must keep working to be better and to improve. The atmosphere in Puertollano was fantastic with lots of people cheering. It was very nice and we really like that as players.

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