While the match between Austria and Spain was majorly the battle against the last place in European Group 2, it was even quite decisive for the situation of the two wildcard spots in the complex qualifying system. The key “stakeholder” of that match was Germany, who had a high win against Austria, but just a close match against Spain. A Spanish win would thus give them a comparably terrible goal difference in case they would end up third in the group. On the other hand, the situation with having the Austrian match score in the cross-group comparison was comparably comfortable. Nice to see that sports may lead to some sort of German-Austrian friendship, even if the German team were not in the arena and supported their neighbor country.
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Austria vs. Spain – Match Report
Melanie Bernert was the focus of sympathy – at least if you are either Austrian or German – in the first period. While the match was quite close and both teams had some stronger moments, the Austrians were just more effective in the first twenty minutes. In both cases, Bernert took profit auf Spanish defensive mistakes. She scored her first goal after 75 seconds and increased the distance in the 14th minute. That gave her team quite some confidence in the match. Austria was the better team towards the end of the period and saved that period score.
Many Goals in the second period.
The second period started with two early goals. First, the Spanish fans cheered for Nieves Ballesteros Suarez, who tipped in a rebounder after 44 seconds. However, the Austrian girls were not impressed at all and Elke Mayrhofer brought back the two-goal lead with a ring wing shot from the backfield (23rd). The match was now an open battle, in which Spanish had the next one. Austria did not put sufficient defensive pressure on a Spanish attack and said “Gracias” in the 25th minute. Victoria Fersterer scored standing nearly on the left face off spot of the centerline just two minutes later. Austria even raised their lead, when Livia Muggler converted a fast attack after 28 minutes.
Thereafter, the match was similar like in the first period: quite close, chances on both side and the overall impression that Austria was just the slightly more controlling team on that day. There was no more score in these twenty minutes, so that Austria had a 5:2 lead in the second intermission.
One is good, two is better, but three is a hattrick
What Bernert was on the Austrian side, was Paula Arenal Beltran in the Spanish team in the third period. You saw that the Austrian power was more and more fading and the more routined Iberians took profit of it. Beltran was the executor in Diego Aguedar Regidor’s team, who took her individual strength and used gaps and unconcentrated moments in the Austrian defense. She first scored in the 48th minute and then closed up from short distance in the 50th. Austria seemed to somehow hold the score, though there were just few shots on Patricia Amores Puhl to give some relief. With slightly more than two minutes left on the clock, Arenal Beltran aimed for the laser from the left wing, directly taking a pass from Sara de la Cuesta Lopez. Spain even was close to win that close battle, but finally it stayed tied.
Austria vs. Spain – My View of the Match
Austria proofed their strong development. They may really be a team to look out for, maybe for the wildcard spot, for the next women championship in two years. The Spanish showed a good performance, it just took them too long to get into the match and gain confidence. They might have played a stronger role in other groups, for example in one of the Gdansk ones. The Trencin groups really seem to be comparably close.
For the wildcard lottery, the is like a Spanish victory to the Germans: Austria is in fact still placed fourth currently, but Spain finished their Trencin career while Austria will face Finland in their last game. It is hard to imagine that the difference of that match will be four goals or less (five goals will give Spain and Austria the same goal difference), so that they keep that spot in the group. Even if they likely end up last in the group, they did a great tournament – maybe apart from their first match against Germany.
Austria vs. Spain- Lineups
Austria: 1 Olga Ruffler – 2 Katharina Prinz, 7 Viktoria Fersterer, 11 Julia Zembacher, 12 Elke Mayrhofer, 14 Nicole Romstorfer, 17 Kerstin Nageler, 21 Simone Reitstatter, 22 Julia Schlub, 23 Sabrina Friedberg, 26 Victoria Weitgasser, 27 Sandra Kral, 28 Sandra Tonegatti, 32 Melanie Bernert, 36 Vera Gebert, 43 Livia Muggler, 51 Hannah Riedbert, 91 Alexandra Kemptner, 98 Michaela Weinrich
Spain: 26 Paloma Andrea Rohas Gonzales, 1 Patricia Amores Puhl – 3 Nieves Ballesteros Suarez, 7 Arantzazu Fernandez Castellanos, 8 Ester Sanchez Sanchez, 9 Sara Martinez Gutierrez, 10 Paula Rodrigo Rorresano, 12 Paula Arenal Beltran, 14 Laura Martinez-Villanueva Portanova, 16 Maria Gomez Contreras, 17 Andrea Rodriguez Laborda, 18 Maria Alonso Lopez-Zuazo, 19 Sara de la Cuesta Lopez, 24 Clara Vallejo Terraza, 30 Carmen Arno de la Calle, 31 Sonia Martinez Lopez, 32 Maria Galan Ortega, 33 Esther Apesteguia Lanseros, 35 Isabel Fernandez Abad, 36 Maria Valverdu Esteban
Austria vs. Spain – Gallery
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