Romano Schmid (5/penalty kick) and Junior Adamo (76) gave hope to the hosts with their seventh goal in this qualifier. The Finns turned the game around with goals by Daniel Haakans (67), Natan Sketa (83) and Julius Turajinen (89 minutes / penalty kick). Austria slipped away from Norway (3:2 against leaders Croatia) and the Finns slipped to fourth. Only the winners and best second of the nine groups are determined in EM. The other runner-up is a playoff participation.
After the match, Schmid was not spared criticism for the performance. “It is very frustrating for all of us. We have big plans and the game got off to a great start for us. But we get the goals very easily, the whole qualification does that,” the Werder Bremen professional said in an interview with ORF. “With all due respect, we get two goals. Or three goals each team has two or three good shots. “We don’t reward ourselves for our efforts,” Schmid said.
The under-21 team will miss the European Championship
The Austrian national under-21 team missed the chance to participate in the European Championship 2023. The Austrians were beaten 2:3 at Red Finland.
A slight difference in the second half
The Austrians set their course early on toward mandatory victory. Three and a half minutes later, Schmid’s cross hit Finland’s Fili Koski in the elbow, and the Swedish referee awarded a penalty. Schmid started and turned confidently. Austria only needed one goal to leave Finland behind in a head-to-head duel.
But the guests were not impressed. Finland had a much better chance of equalizing before the break. Niklas Heidel in the goal, for example, directed a shot over the crossbar (26) and had to intervene again at the end of the first half.
Finland’s best ending
Then Schmid and co. came out of the locker room better. Alexander Brass was on the verge of making it 2-0 just 15 seconds into the second half, the Finnish goalkeeper saving Adamu’s shot. On the other hand, the defense was exposed to a quick counter-attack, not for the first time. Hackans overtook Captain Flavius Danieliuk and shot the level.
Hope reigned once again when Adamo sent substitute Jonas Orr’s cross into goal. However, the end to a very difficult game at times belonged to the guests: Scaeta headed the equalizer after ÖFB-Elf looked bad again on a counterattack, then Lukas Sulzbacher parried a shot with his arm. About Tauriainen safely disputed penalty.
After the match, Grigorić lamented the numerous changes during the playoffs. “We didn’t manage to put together a team. Time and time again we had to rebuild the team. The Finns managed to play the entire qualifiers with the same defence.” The goal now is to attack again, the coach said, with the start of a new year in the fall.
European Under-21 Championship Qualifiers, Group A
Austria-Finland 2:3 (1:0)
1: 0 Schmid (5th / penalty kick)
1-1 Hakan (67 minutes)
1-2 Adamo (76 minutes)
2: 2 sketa (83.)
2: 3 Turinen (89 min / penalty kick)
Austria: Hedl – Affengruber, Daniliuc (77 / Sulzbacher), Moormann – Strauss (58th / Zimmermann), Taferner, Aiwu, Prass (58 / Auer) – Wimmer – Schmid, Adamu