It’s not often that a football team takes two victory laps after a defeat, but on this summer fall evening in Viola Park, it came as no surprise. The long overdue new attendance record was balm for the soul for both the players and the coaches. “It was very emotional for me to see so many spectators. When I think about the path that lies behind. But the players deserve it. “It’s indescribable and I hope it doesn’t remain a one-off experience,” said Fuhrmann.
In terms of sport, the early and avoidable goal was particularly annoying for goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger, who was unfortunate. “The team deserves a lot more,” said the Arsenal goalkeeper after the game in which Austria met the World Cup quarter-finalists and the world number five on equal terms. “You could see that we can keep up with a real top nation, and that makes me proud,” said Zinsberger, whose team set a milestone.
France scores through Renard (5th minute of the game)
The French player Bacha plays a free kick towards Renard, who skillfully heads the ball into the goal.
It took almost eleven years for Austria’s female footballers to set a new record. In 2012, 3,600 were there against Russia in St. Pölten. The fact that there have been two successful participations in European Championships since then at least raises questions. After a few missed opportunities, such as playing against the newly crowned European champions from England in 2022 in a limited arena like in Wiener Neustadt, the record has now become a reality.
“We had a great football festival”
The players unanimously raved about the atmosphere and emphasized its importance. “I am pleased that the ÖFB has set the next milestone together with us. We delivered our performance on the pitch, the ÖFB all around with Austria Vienna. “I’m proud that we brought fans here, created visibility, created role models and simply had a great football festival,” said Zinsberger.
GEPA/Armin Rauthner Never before have so many people been there watching the Austrians play football
The larger stadium, earlier kick-off time and timely communication ensured this unprecedented number of spectators, which, according to the goalkeeper, played a major role in the development. “We are on a great path and that makes me proud. Performing at home in front of a backdrop like that gives me goosebumps.” Barbara Dunst said, not without reason: “We’ve earned it over the years.”
“Stupid goal conceded” annoys Austrians
Naturally, the Austrians wanted to give the many fans, including many children, a victory. But against France, the grapes were on the one hand high, and on the other hand the ÖFB team made life difficult for themselves. “We ultimately lost because of a stupid goal,” said Fuhrmann, who was annoyed about the early 0-1 defeat against the French, who were already so dangerous when it came to free kicks. Wendie Renard headed the ball towards the goal and Zinsberger let it pass.
“The very beginning is bitter because Verena Hanshaw reaches for the ball out of a reflex, then there is a free kick, and on another day Manuela Zinsberger can fend off the ball. That’s why it’s extremely bitter that we lost in the end because of this mistake,” said Fuhrmann. Zinsberger analyzed her faux pas as follows: “I didn’t stand well behind the ball, I was rather surprised at how much speed the ball came with because of the wet grass, and in the end it just looked stupid.”
Reuters/Leonhard Foeger After a header, Austria’s goalkeeper Zinsberger slipped the ball into the goal
After that, the French had the reins in their hands and could have added more, but as the game progressed, Austria offered more and more resistance. “We didn’t fall apart immediately after the setback and grew with the game. There’s still a lot left in it,” said Laura Feiersinger. Hanshaw, who played her 100th international match in Vienna, gave insights into the half-time discussions: “We said something is possible, they are not that good today.”
Development is encouraging
Before the break, Celina Degen failed to hit the crossbar with her shot and in the end she lacked a bit of penetration against the stable defense. Fuhrmann relied on speed on offense and left top scorer Nicole Billa on the bench (“also a gut feeling”), so France retained the upper hand for the 294th time in their 500th international match.
Women’s Nations League
Schedule and tables
“We challenged them in front of this record setting,” noted Dunst, taking the positives with him. “It’s crazy what has happened in the last few years. It was the first time that France played against us for time, that says it all,” said Feiersinger. “The last duels were a defensive battle for us,” said Fuhrmann, remembering previous games.
That’s why the frontwoman demanded: “We simply have to have more confidence in ourselves against such an opponent right from the start.” Because in the Nations League Group A2, Austria is the only team that did not take part in the World Cup this year and is an outsider. In Norway (1:1) they got a lucky point at the start.
Vorarlberg as the next location
“But we saw today that anything is possible in this very difficult group,” said Dunst. In the end it was clear to Feiersinger: “We would have liked to win today, but we also won a lot for Austrian football today.” The next home game against Portugal will take place in Altach in a month. In view of the new attendance record, Feiersinger said with a wink to the Vorarlberg football fans: “Now they have to step on the gas.”
UEFA Women’s Nations League, second matchday
Austria – France 0:1 (0:1)
Vienna, Viola Park, 10,051 spectators, SR Cvetkovic (SRB)
Tor: Renard (5.)
Austria: Zinsberger; Naschenweng (61./Purtschneller), Schiechtl (60./Kirchberger), Georgieva, Degen, Hanshaw; Dunst, Zadrazil, Puntigam (73./Höbinger), Feiersinger (84./Schasching); Pinther (46./Campbell)
France: Picaud; Perisset (58./Mbock Bathy), De Almeida, Fox, Karchaoui; Matthew (57./Becho), Henry (76./Toletti), Jean-Francois (58./Le Garrec), Youth; Diani (81./Summer), In Summer
Gelbe Karte: Degen bzw. Le Garrec, Bacha, Mbock Bathy