World News – GB – Northern Ireland move on to disappointing Nations League loss to Austria


After the party came a hangover as Northern Ireland were brought down to earth in a 1-0 home loss to Austria

Three days after the summit of Thursday’s spectacular penalty shootout win over Bosnia and Herzegovina to maintain hopes of reaching Euro 2020 next summer, Ireland’s League of Nations woes du Nord continued as they lost for the sixth time in seven matches in this competition

The presence of 600 supporters inside Windsor Park could not wake up Northern Ireland as they were comfortably outclassed by the visitors, who won thanks to the head of Michael Gregoritsch and possibly would to be marked much more in the night

With 120 minutes of tense and nervous football in the legs of many players since Thursday, Ian Baraclough has looked to refresh his squad with five changes, including Kyle Lafferty, Jordan Jones and Gavin Whyte in attack and a rare start for Michael McGovern in goal

But they were second best against Austria almost throughout and were ultimately grateful that Marko Arnautovic was unable to travel from Shanghai to play in this international window as Franco Foda’s side let several opportunities to inflict a more convincing defeat

Austria dominated almost immediately as they led the midfield and created chances throughout the first half Gregoritsch narrowly missed a ball from David Alaba before Stefan Ilsanker headed straight for to McGovern, playing only his second game for club or country in 12 months

Playmaker Martin Odegaard prepared Erling Haaland for two of his three goals as Norway beat Romania 4-0 in Oslo to take the lead of Group B1 with six points, two ahead of Romanians. Borussia Dortmund now have six goals in as many appearances for their country

There was no goal in Group A1 as the Netherlands were held by Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Poland and Italy failed to find the back of the net « What affected us a bit was that the pitch was in very poor condition, » said Italy head coach Roberto Mancini. “It’s not an excuse, but it was terrible It penalizes players with more quality, because the ball bounces irregularly The team played well, we created chances but we didn’t score – it happens « 

Croatia celebrated their first Nations League top victory after a late goal from substitute Andrej Kramaric gave them a 2-1 home win over Sweden The other group game ended scoreless as France and Portugal played a draw

Own own goal from Runar Mar Sigurjonsson and superb strikes from Christian Eriksen and Robert Skov gave Denmark a deserved 3-0 victory over Iceland in Group A2

Group B3 leaders Russia were held to a 1-1 draw at home against Turkey, with Hungary making the most of the result by beating Serbia 1-0 to move up to second place with six points, one behind the leaders

When Jamal Lewis failed to cut a deep cross from Alaba, Reinhold Ranftl was unable to adjust his feet in time Releases continued to come for the hosts as Christoph Baumgartner fired a tame shot to McGovern up close before Martin Hinteregger managed to get power over his header from a corner

The best chance of all came just before the half hour mark when Craig Cathcart’s pass was caught by Baumgartner but, once on goal, he folded his shot over the far post. Baumgartner missed another golden chance moments later by sending Gregoritsch’s padded head high into the socially remote stands

But the almost relentless pressure kicked in just before the break when Hinteregger’s cross from the left tracked down Gregoritsch who easily passed McGovern

Northern Ireland responded after the break, playing their brightest football in the opening 20 minutes of the second half, but they couldn’t turn it into chances The first real sight of the goal is which occurred only in the 68th minute, when Jonny Evans put his head with a glance at Paddy McNair’s cross, but pointed it directly at Pavao Pervan

Baraclough sent out Conor Washington, Liam Boyce and Josh Magennis in the later stages, but the service to the leading men didn’t improve The only opening came in the stoppage time when a quick free kick went released Boyce, but the hero of Thursday’s shooting fired up close

Baraclough admitted his players struggled to maintain their intensity level following Thursday’s penalty shootout success “I didn’t want to make any big changes,” he told Sky Sports “Making nine, 10, 11 changes, it can completely distort a team So I would ask the players to go to the pits again and dig deep, but we don’t want to find any excuses « 

Baraclough paid tribute to the 600 fans who had been allowed to attend the match « It’s a start and I hope those who came enjoyed the experience of being back here », he said. he added « You can’t fault the way they tried to move us forward They tried to make their voice heard and it’s making a difference It’s a start and I hope we can get more of it next month « 

Chances on their fortunes change on Wednesday’s trip to Oslo to face Norway, which won 5-1 in Belfast last month, don’t look favorable The focus for this window was still on the Bosnia game, but it was always a disappointing night after thursday highs

Northern Ireland, UEFA Nations League, Ian Baraclough, Austrian national football team, Austria

News from around the world – UK – Northern Ireland slide to disappointing defeat against Austria in the Nations League


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