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Nations League: ÖFB women aim to stay in the league

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Nations League: ÖFB women aim to stay in the league

In Norway, the Austrians fought to a 1-1 draw at the start in Oslo on September 22nd. A result that would cause great celebration this time, because it could avoid going into the play-offs and the realistic maximum goal would be achieved. However, a tough 90 minutes can be expected because the Norwegians feel double the pressure. On the one hand, second place is the Scandinavians’ big goal, but on the other hand, if they lose, there is a risk of falling back to fourth place if Portugal surprisingly wins against group winners France. The bottom teams in the group are relegated to League B.

“The pressure is clearly on Norway because their expectations are much higher, although we now definitely want to take advantage of the opportunity that has been presented to us and that we have worked very hard to earn,” said ÖFB team boss Irene Fuhrmann. At the start of the Nations League, third place in the group would have been satisfactory, but now it would actually feel like a big disappointment to miss second place. This is also due to the strong performances in the duels with France, which were more than the two defeats ( 0:1 and most recently 0:3).

Austria’s women under pressure

Austria’s national team can confirm its stay in the A group of the Nations League on Tuesday. In the final home game against Norway in Sankt Pölten, a draw is enough to secure second place in the group behind France.

“When I see how we managed to create great opportunities after an early deficit where we had to score goals, that must give us courage and strengthen us in our actions,” emphasized the 43-year-old. Such achievements are no coincidence. “We have to build on that. We’re doing a really good job, but we’re still lacking efficiency.” In the first duel with Norway, Eileen Campbell scored the ÖFB points with an equalizer in the 72nd minute. The Neo-Freiburg legionnaire should once again set the tone on the offensive.

GEPA/Armin Rauthner ÖFB team boss Fuhrmann has a clear goal against Norway

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“We have the winning mentality in us”

Although a draw is enough, the hosts want to take the initiative. “Playing for a draw is not possible. We want to do everything we can to be successful, we have the winning mentality within us,” said Fuhrmann. A “final” against Norway is nothing new; at the European Championships 2022 in England there was a 1-0 win in the last group game. “It’s similar to the European Championships, only it’s not about the quarter-finals, but staying in the league. The team that is more prepared will prevail,” suspected the ÖFB coach.

Women’s Nations League

Schedule and tables

After a “good, energetic” final training session, only Celina Degen, who injured her foot, will be out. The central defender had recently been missing due to suspension. The use of Jennifer Klein is slightly questionable. An integral part of the team is captain Sarah Puntigam, who wants to be successful with her team. “Norway are favorites when you see which players they have in their ranks. “But that doesn’t mean we can’t get the point or win we still need,” said the US legionnaire.

Difficult conditions

The conditions will not be easy. The fan response is limited with just over 1,600 tickets sold, and the pitch is anything but in top condition due to the winter conditions. According to Fuhrmann, this will probably suit the guests more. “If I look at the space conditions, it will be a real fight,” said Puntigam. You have to find a good balance between when to play from the back and when to play it safe.

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You can’t afford any mistakes, as Ada Hegerberg is also a top striker who is in a scoring mood. The 28-year-old Lyon player scored a triple in the recent 4-0 win against Portugal.

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