Having never attended a Socceroo’s match I found it ironic the the first international game of football I went to see live was not Australia but rather Austria’s last night thrashing over the Faroe Islands in their 4th match of the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifiers.
A 6-0 scoreline in a World Cup Qualifier says a lot of things on a night that England also destroyed San Marino 8-0. However, if Austria are to really show their mark and make the final 32 for the first time since 1998, they’re really going to have to focus hard on their set plays, and step it up under pressure.
Most of the goals scored where due to bad defending from the minnows whom Austria still find hard to forget, beat them back in 1991. They showed glimpses of their fighting set pieces and kick-behind passes from back in September when they were the better team in the 2-1 loss to Germany, but last night many of them got lost in the wind as they over-kicked and over-ran pass after pass in what really could have been a scoreline in the double figures.
The best goal of the night came from Ivanschitz drilling one low to the left a few yards outside the box, whilst the defenders stood stagnant and perplexed as Austria cruised to 3-0 in the first half hour. The bottom of the table side regained a little bit of possession early in the second half with a couple of attacking chances but Austria scored another 3 goals in the space of 13 minutes much to the delight of the cheering fans to complete the thrashing.
Austria will take a lot of confidence from the win as they set to face Ireland on Tuesday in another must win match, but they really need to get their set plays right if they are to make it with the big boys come June against Sweden then again against Germany in early September.