19.08.2008 at 19:30 Stadium Wr. Neudorf, Vienna
Referee: Vladimir Hracho (SVK).
Austria 1-1 Republic of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland Under-21s were denied a memorable win over Austria in Vienna when the hosts equalised with literally the last kick of the ball.
Leading through Keith Treacy’s first half strike, the Austrians grabbed an unlikely equaliser in the 93rd minute when substitute Michael Stanislaw curled the ball passed Stephen Henderson from 10 yards.
It was harsh on the Irish, who dominated the game and thought that they had done enough to record the victory.
New Ireland Under-21 captain Keith Treacy had his first glimpse of goal on 12 minutes when he raced passed two defenders but his shot from 15 yards sailed over the bar.
The 19-year-old did not have to wait long for his reward, however, when three minutes later he ran at the home defence before unleashing a brilliant shot from 20 yards that flew into the bottom corner to give the Irish the lead.
Rubin Okotie had Austria’s first chance on 29 minutes when the ball broke to the Austrian forward but he scuffed his shot wide from six yards.
Okotie almost made amends ten minutes later when he turned on the edge of the box and shot, but Shane Redmond was equal to the challenge.
Four minutes after the restart, it was Austrian ‘keeper Robert Olejnik who was at full stretch to palm away Alan Judge’s long range effort.
Another long-range effort had Olejnik scrambling on 68 minutes, this time from James Ryan, after the Ireland midfielder spotted the ‘keeper off his line and struck from 35 yards - only for Olejnik to turn it around the post for a corner.
The Irish contained the Austrians superbly in the second half and thought that they had done enough to get the win until Stanislaw struck with the last kick of the ball.
Irish manager Don Givens said that the game had brought a lot of positives, especially given the experience of the Austrian side who have already qualified for next summer’s UEFA Under-21 European Championship having topped their qualifying group.
“I thought it was a fair result”, said Givens. “We were terrific in the first half but we were tired towards the end and they put us under a bit of pressure. We made six changes because we wanted to have a look at all the players and that unbalanced us slightly.
“We brought a very young team; the Austrians were all two years older and a lot more experienced. They were one of the first teams to qualify for the European Championships so to bring a young team over here and get a result like that is very positive. Overall, I’m very happy.”
Austria: Robert Olejnik, Franz Schiemer - capt. -, Niklas Hoheneder, Julian Baumgartlinger (Christoph Saurer, 62 mins.), Florian Klein, Zlatko Junuzovic (Emin Sulimani, 28 mins), Marko Arnautovic, Christopher Drazan (Michael Madl h/t), Veli Kavlak, Rubin Okotie (Michael Stanislaw, 75 mins.) Harun Erbek (Andreas Schicker h/t)
Republic of Ireland: Shane Redmond (Stephen Henderson h/t), Seamus Coleman, Michael Liddle (Simon Madden, 73 mins.) Michael Spillane, Darren Dennehy (Garry Breen, h/t), James Ryan, Alan Judge, Stephen Gleeson (Josh O’Keefe h/t), Andrew Jackson (Padraig Amond, 63 mins.), James Berrett, Keith Treacy – capt (Karl Moore, 51 mins).
Referee: Vladimir Hracho (SVK).