Women's World Cup Qualifying
Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland2AustriaAustria2

2023 Women's World Cup qualifiers: Austria deny NI with injury-time equaliser

By Andy GrayBBC Sport NI at Seaview
Northern Ireland celebrate Demi Vance's goal
Northern Ireland celebrate Demi Vance's goal

Stefanie Enzinger scored an injury-time equaliser to deny Northern Ireland a famous victory over Austria in World Cup qualifying at Seaview.

Barbara Dunst opened the scoring on 42 minutes after skipping through the home defence.

However Lauren Wade scored seconds after the restart to level the game and Demi Vance's stunning free-kick put Northern Ireland ahead.

Enzinger headed Austria level to rescue a point for the favourites.

Despite the hype and build-up to Northern Ireland's defeat by England at Wembley on Saturday, Tuesday's game with Austrian at Seaview was always set to play a larger role in the outlook of Group D.

England are tipped to win the group, which would leave Northern Ireland and Austria to battle it out for second place and the play-off spot that comes with that.

After travelling back from London on Sunday, Northern Ireland were hit by the news on Tuesday that Chloe McCarron, Caragh Hamilton, Laura Rafferty and Nadene Caldwell were unavailable for selection, with Glentoran duo Jess Foy and Emma McMaster drafted onto the bench as cover.

The score means Northern Ireland, if other results go according to form, will need to match or better the result in the return fixture in Austria next spring if they are to edge into second position.

However, crucially, their dream remains alive as they aim to make back-to-back major tournaments.

Watch: NI held by Austria despite Vance stunner

Dunst breaks NI resistance

In front of more than 2,000 spectators in north Belfast, it was the visitors who got the best start as Sarah Zadrazil and Dunst fired warning shots after some loose NI passing at the back.

In some rare respite at the other end, Vance's delightful free-kick was met by Julie Nelson but the defender couldn't convert at the back post.

However it was the visitors who remained fully on top despite the best efforts of the home crowd to cheer their players on. Katharina Elisa Naschenweng's volley was well kept out by Jackie Burns after a half-cleared corner and, from another set play, Nicole Billa, the in-form player from qualifying, scuffed her effort from 10 yards.

Austria scored through Barbara Dunst
Austria scored through Barbara Dunst just before half-time

McGuinness, Northern Ireland's best player in the opening 20 minutes, skipped inside a couple of challenges and found Callaghan on the edge of the area but her first-time effort with her left foot was well over.

Burns, superb at Wembley, pulled off another fine save to deny Dunst, who then fired over from 20 yards as the Austrian pressure kept on coming.

However, Dunst delivered a sucker punch three minutes before half-time when she skipped into the area and beat Burns with a low effort at her near post.

Marie Höbinger played it through to Sarah Zadrazil, who picked out Dunst and the forward kept her cool to finish and break the deadlock.

Northern Ireland hit back in stunning style

Whatever Kenny Shiels said at half-time clearly worked as Northern Ireland equalised seconds after the restart. Furness clipped a ball over the top which found Wade and the winger kept her cool to poke beyond Manuela Zinsberger from the edge of the area.

Before Austria knew what had hit them it was two and the game was turned on its head. When Furness was dragged down 25 yards out, Vance stepped up and curled a stunning free-kick into the top corner to send the Seaview crowd into wild celebrations.

The visitors were settled, and Burns produced a brilliant low save to keep out Höbinger from the edge of the area, but on the whole they were restricted to long-range efforts thanks to some excellent home pressing.

Vance had another free-kick from 25 yards after Furness was again fouled, however this one was well over, and Shiels introduced Everton striker Simone Magill for the final 10 minutes to give NI some fresh legs up front.

Burns produced a superb double intervention to keep Northern Ireland's slender advantage intact, first diving in with a brilliant slide tackle on Dunst and the Glentoran goalkeeper leapt to her feet to keep out Billa's follow-up.

There was another scare when Laura Feiersinger's lob landed just the wrong side of the post, and Burns produced another superb save to tip Sarah Puntigam's goal-bound effort over the bar.

Billa, German footballer of the year for 2021, thundered an effort onto the crossbar in the final three minutes, and Austria got the equaliser when Enzinger's header looped over Burns in the 92nd minute.

Enzinger could have grabbed a winner but was denied by a brilliant block by Rebecca McKenna as both sides were forced to settle for a share of the points.

Despite the late heartbreak, players took time for selfies and autographs with supporters in Seaview as crowds returned to a competitive game in north Belfast for the first time in almost two years.

Line-ups

Northern Ireland

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Burns
  • 5Nelson
  • 4McFadden
  • 13Burrows
  • 2McKenna
  • 8Callaghan
  • 10Furness
  • 3Vance
  • 14WadeSubstituted forMagillat 79'minutes
  • 21BeattieSubstituted forWilsonat 90+3'minutes
  • 11McGuinnessSubstituted forFoyat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6McLaren
  • 9Magill
  • 12Flaherty
  • 15Foy
  • 16McMaster
  • 18McDaniel
  • 19Wilson
  • 20Andrews
  • 22Watling
  • 23Harvey-Clifford

Austria

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Zinsberger
  • 12Wienroither
  • 7WenningerBooked at 49mins
  • 13KirchbergerBooked at 71mins
  • 19Hanshaw
  • 17Puntigam
  • 8Dunst
  • 9Zadrazil
  • 14HöbingerSubstituted forFeiersingerat 71'minutes
  • 3NaschenwengSubstituted forEnzingerat 82'minutes
  • 15Billa

Substitutes

  • 2Degen
  • 4Pinther
  • 5Plattner
  • 6Schiechtl
  • 10Feiersinger
  • 11Georgieva
  • 16Eder
  • 18Wienerroither
  • 20Schasching
  • 21Gritzner
  • 22Enzinger
  • 23Pal
Referee:
Marta Huerta de Aza
Attendance:
2,300

Match Stats

Home TeamNorthern IrelandAway TeamAustria
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home8
Away35
Shots on Target
Home4
Away13
Corners
Home2
Away9
Fouls
Home6
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Northern Ireland Women 2, Austria Women 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Northern Ireland Women 2, Austria Women 2.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Northern Ireland Women. Emily Wilson replaces Kerry Beattie.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Stefanie Enzinger (Austria Women) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Laura Wienroither with a cross.

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Northern Ireland Women 2, Austria Women 2. Stefanie Enzinger (Austria Women) header from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Carina Wenninger.

  6. Post update

    Nicole Billa (Austria Women) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Nicole Billa (Austria Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Stefanie Enzinger with a headed pass.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sarah Puntigam (Austria Women) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Verena Hanshaw with a cross following a corner.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Austria Women. Conceded by Jackie Burns.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sarah Puntigam (Austria Women) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Sarah Zadrazil.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Stefanie Enzinger (Austria Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Northern Ireland Women. Jessica Foy replaces Kirsty McGuinness.

  13. Post update

    Nicole Billa (Austria Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Sarah McFadden (Northern Ireland Women).

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Laura Feiersinger (Austria Women) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Stefanie Enzinger.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sarah Zadrazil (Austria Women) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Laura Feiersinger.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Laura Feiersinger (Austria Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Sarah Puntigam with a through ball.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Austria Women. Stefanie Enzinger replaces Katharina Naschenweng.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Katharina Naschenweng (Austria Women) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Laura Wienroither with a cross following a corner.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Austria Women. Conceded by Jackie Burns.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Tuesday 26th October 2021

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sweden33006069
2Finland32016336
3Slovakia31023303
4R. of Ireland21012203
5Georgia300309-90

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain3300230239
2Scotland330011299
3Ukraine210146-23
4Hungary4103812-43
5Faroe Islands4004228-260

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Netherlands43101311210
2Iceland32019276
3Czech Republic31119544
4Belarus21014313
5Cyprus4004125-240

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England44003203212
2Austria43102131810
3Northern Ireland421110647
4North Macedonia4103618-123
5Luxembourg4103321-183
6Latvia4004226-240

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Denmark44002812712
2Russia44001401412
3Montenegro4202612-66
4Malta4112413-94
5Bos-Herze4013417-131
6Azerbaijan4004114-130

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norway43101701710
2Poland42204138
3Belgium4211155107
4Albania4112610-44
5Kosovo4112211-94
6Armenia4004017-170

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Switzerland44001711612
2Italy44001601612
3Romania32015236
4Moldova200209-90
5Lithuania3003112-110
6Croatia4004015-150

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany44002011912
2Portugal43101221010
3Turkey311123-14
4Serbia Women310247-33
5Israel3003012-120
6Bulgaria3003013-130

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France44002922712
2Wales43101211110
3Slovenia421111567
4Greece4202516-116
5Kazakhstan4004215-130
6Estonia4004020-200
View full Women's World Cup Qualifying tables

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