12.11.2016 at 18:00 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna
0 - 1
Republic of Ireland
Referee: S Karasev (Russia)
World Cup Qualifier-match
Paul Mc Shane
Callum O Dowda
Aidan Mc Geady
David Mc Goldrick
Teamwork, collective courage and a dash of individual brilliance helped the Republic of Ireland record a 1-0 victory over Austria in Ernst-Happel Stadium to remain unbeaten in Group D.
After drawing away to Serbia and beating both Georgia and Moldova, Martin O'Neill's Ireland team had made an impressive start to FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifying. But this win bumps it up to excellent.
James McClean scored the only goal of the game in the 48th minute when he dropped his shoulder, zipped past his marker, and unloaded a shot that goalkeeper Ramazan Ozcan was never going to stop.
The Derry native has now scored three times in his last two appearances and his impact certainly helped secure a first Irish win over Austria since 1963. Although there were many other factors that contributed to the awarding of the three points.
Goalkeeper Darren Randolph had to be on full alert to deny Marc Janko, captain Seamus Coleman made the type of defensive tackle that inspires a team, and the home side failed to convert any of their six chances on target.
Austria started brightly and pushed O'Neill's men back inside their half in the early exchanges, but Ireland always looked dangerous especially with McClean's speed, Jonathan Walters' direct approach, and Wes Hoolahan's neat passing.
Harry Arter excelled on his competitive debut, while Glenn Whelan, Jeff Hendrick and substitute David Meyler each registered magnificent shifts in the midfield engine room. Behind them, the defensive line stood firm and made important blocks and clearances.
Ireland kept their hosts at bay during a late onslaught to show just how compact they have become as a unit and the team spirit helped to carry them to a third straight win.
Austria: Ozcan; Klein, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Wimmer (Ilsanker 78); Baumgartlinger, Alaba; Schopf (Schaub 58), Sabitzer (Harnik 73), Arnautovic; Janko.
Republic of Ireland: Randolph; Coleman, Duffy, Clark, Brady; Whelan (Meyler 22) Hendrick; Arter, Hoolahan (McGoldrick 78); McClean (McGeady 85); Walters.
Referee: S Karasev (Russia).