With just 10 days to go until the European Championships in the Netherlands, Austria and Denmark had one important friendly to play as part of their final preparations before it all kicks off.
The importance showed in the two starting line-ups, where Denmark started with the eleven players that is expected to start against Belgium in 10 days, an Austria likewise fielded a strong starting eleven, but it was noticeable for its lack of Viktoria Schnaderbeck. The usual Austrian captain was out with a knee injury.
Austria stun Danes in first minute
Austria kicked us off, and it didn’t take long before the game saw its first goal. 40 seconds was all Nicole Billa needed before she had made it 1-0 to Austria. She took advantage of some bad communication and hesitance in the Danish defence, and the Danish keeper, Stina Lykke, did all she could to try and keep the ball out, but to no avail.
It was a Danish team that was evidently shocked by this opening, and Austria continued to pressure them, resulting in a few good chances to the home side. Especially Billa continued to be dangerous and also had a header that was denied by the post.
Denmark struggled to get into the game, with their play being characterised by misplaced passes and a lack of organisation. However, despite this Denmark got back into the game, when Carina Wenninger failed to clear a ball properly and Katrine Veje showed her class by first timing a volley into the net to make it 1-1. This was Denmark’s first shot on goal, but it was all they needed.
Denmark saw a little more of the ball after their equaliser, with Nadia Nadim getting a header on goal. Despite this, the Danish game continued to be filled with sloppy passes, especially helped by some great pressuring from the Austrians. As the half reached the 30 minute mark, Austria nearly made it 2-1, when first Billa and afterwards Lisa Makas went extremely close to giving Austria their second goal. However, the score remained 1-1. The last 15 minutes reflected the rest of the half, with Austria continuing to put pressure on Denmark, and Denmark struggling to get going. Still, neither team managed to find a way through and the first-half ended 1-1.
Zadrazil brace makes game safe
Much like in the first half, Austria started brightly, and it took just 3 minutes until they had found the back of the net once more. Sarah Zadrazil took advantage of a clearance that hit the referee, and she neatly found Billa in behind the Danish defence. Billa did not hesitate and clinically put it behind Lykke in goal. 2-1 to the Austrians.
It got worse for Denmark, as Austria, 7 minutes later made it 3-1, when Zadrazil joined in on the fun and got on the scoresheet. Austria continued to threaten Denmark, and they got their reward in the 63rd minute, as Zadrazil earned her brace after, yet another, bad clearance from the Danes.
Denmark got a consolation goal at the end of the match, as Nadim broke free down the right and served a ball to Stine Larsen, who slotted it home to make it 4-2, which was also the result of the game.
For Austria this is the perfect confidence booster before they start their European Championship with a game against Switzerland on July 18th. Denmark, on the other hand, will have to try and put this disappointment behind them, as they kick of their EURO campaign on 16th of July against Belgium.