Austria 2-2 Wales: Arnautovic pegs Wales back twice for a share of the spoils

Austria and Wales drew 2-2 for their World Cup qualifying D game in Vienna, with Stoke City's Marko Arnautovic denying the visitors all three points with a brace.

Austria 2-2 Wales: Arnautovic pegs Wales back twice for a share of the spoils
(Picture: Getty Images/Joe Klamar)
2 2
Austria: Almer (Ozcan, min. 58), Klein, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Wimmer, Sabitzer, Alaba, Baumgartlinger, Arnautovic (Schaub, min. 87), Junuzovic (Schopf, min 79), Janko.
Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, Williams, Chester, Davies, Taylor (Huws, min. 90+1), Allen (Edwards, min.55), Ledley, King, Vokes (Robson Kanu, min. 77), Bale.
SCORE: 0-1, min. 22, Allen. 1-1, min. 28, Arnautovic. 2-1, min. 45, Wimmer OG. 2-2, min. 48, Arnautovic.
REFEREE: Cuneyt Cakir (Turk). Booked Arnautovic (min. 50), Davies (min. 60), Janko (min. 90+2).
INCIDENTS: 2018 World Cup qualifying group D match between Austria and Wales. The match was played at the Ernst-Happel Stadion.

Wales twice took the lead in Vienna against Austria but a Marko Arnautovic brace denied them a second straight win in 2018 World Cup qualifying. 

Back and forth contest

This matchday two fixture in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, took many twists and turns, but ultimately the points were shared in Vienna between the two teams.

It was the visitors who managed to strike first through Stoke City's Joe Allen and he wouldn't be the only Potter to make his mark in this one.

The opener came about after Gareth Bale whipped in a cross from the left, which eventually worked its way out to the edge of the box where Allen ran in on the ball and smashed it just inside the left post with a fine left foot half-volley. 












Chris Coleman's team could only hang onto the lead for six minutes however, as another Stoke player got on the scoresheet in Arnautovic, who made it 1-1 in the 28th minute.

The Austrian equaliser was also a high quality goal, with David Alaba playing a sublime lofted through ball for Arnautovic who got inside his man Chris Gunter and managed to nod past the Wales 'keeper as the ball bounced up.

Wales hit back though and at a perfect time as they restored their lead bang on the 45 minute mark. Bale was again involved in the build-up, with his long throw from the left being flicked on by Sam Vokes at the near post before James Chester connected with a diving header only to see it saved from close range. Fortunately for Wales, the rebound hit Kevin Wimmer's trailing leg and trickled over the line to restore their lead. 











Yet again, however, Wales could not handle Arnautovic and with the help of his Stoke teammate he put the teams on terms again. Allen played a short pass across his own half, which Arnautovic stole in to intercept, allowing himto race through on goal and side-foot past Wayne Hennessey with the slight help of a Chester deflection.

Even affair ends level

This entertaining draw was probably just about a fair result as both teams had a couple of excellent chances to add to the two goals each they scored.

The best for Wales was in just the 7th minute when a corner was only cleared as far as Ben Davies who volleyed the ball back in to the danger area, where Bale reacted well to head the ball towards the left top corner only for Robert Almer to somehwow tip it over with a sublime left-handed stop.

Just a minute before that Almer save, Hennessey had to be sharp in the Wales goal as well when Tottenham Hotspur's Wimmer got across the near post of an Alaba corner from the right and glanced it on with the Crystal Palace keeper well postioned to catch the ball. 

Hennessey would be called into action again before the end of the match, but he never had to pull off an amazing save. Arnautovic nearly completed his his hat-trick late on, but he blasted a right foot shot wide of the near post from the right side of the box after some good one touch football.

Instead, both teams were forced to settle for apoint apiece, leaving them locked on four points from two games along with Serbia and the Republic of Ireland