Match report: Austria start Euro campaign with victory
Austria kicked off their Uefa Euro women’s 2017 campaign with a 1-0 victory over Switzerland as Group C got underway on Tuesday afternoon.
Austria captain Nina Burger scored the only goal of the game with a low first half finish in a game that also saw the first red card of the tournament as Rahel Kiwic was dismissed for the Swiss in the second half.
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Austria came out of the blocks the much quicker of the two as Sarah Puntigam was denied a certain goal on 3 minutes as she raced through on goal before Martina Moser stopped her in her tracks making a world class last ditch tackle.
Both sides on their Women’s European Championship debuts were throwing caution to the wind as the Swiss had a good opening of their own on 16 minutes when Chelsea forward Ramona Bachmann linked up well with Marina Moser before curling her effort wide of the target.
As the Austrians settled into the game they opened the scoring when Burger was played in by Sarah Zadrazi before she beat Swiss stopper Gaelle Thalmann at her near post.
The game then turned into a midfield slog with the next opening not being created until 37 minutes when Bachamann leapt like a salmon to meet a Lia Waltis corner but she could only direct her effort over.
On the stroke of half-time Austria thought they had doubled their goal lead when Virginia Kirchberger’s shot was spilled by Thalmann however Verena Aschauer couldn’t turn the rebound into the empty net.
It was Switzerland who began the second half brighter as they were inches away from an equaliser on 48 minutes when Bachmann crossed low for Walti but she spurned her chance scuffing her effort wide of the target.
Zinsberger then came to her sides rescue on 52 minutes as she had to fly through the sea of bodies to punch away a Lara Dickenmann header from an inswinging Caroline Abbe corner.
Drama was then to follow as the Swiss were reduced to ten on 60 minutes when goal scorer Burger was through on goal before she was chopped down by Kiwic clearly denying a goal scoring opportunity.
This was to be the first red card of a European women’s tournament for the first time since England’s Casey Stoney in 2009.
Austria then started to take full advantage of being a player up and they should have made it two on sixty-five minutes as Kirchberger played in Nicole Billa but she dinked her effort over the crossbar when well placed to score.
Billa then should have had her name up in lights on 70 minutes as once again Kirchberger played her in but she could only drag her shot wide.
Switzerland then with time running out had to open up and they should have been all square as Bachmann was denied by a last gasp Carina Wenninger tackle in the final minute of the match.