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Key Events

M. Janko
Yellow Card
E. Huws
N. Taylor
L. Schaub
M. Arnautović
A. Schöpf
Z. Junuzović
H. Robson-Kanu
S. Vokes
B. Davies
Yellow Card
R. Özcan
R. Almer
D. Edwards
J. Allen
M. Arnautović
Yellow Card
M. Arnautović
Goal
K. Wimmer
Own Goal
D. Alaba
Assist
M. Arnautović
Goal
C. Gunter
Assist
J. Allen
Goal
3
2
3
1

Stats

Possession
% %
7
4
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 6 3
Total Passes 442 270

Commentary

Full-time in Vienna. A deserved result in the end as Austria and Wales play out a very entertaining 2-2 stalemate in this World Cup qualifying clash between two evenly matched nations. Arnautovic was the man of the night with two excellently taken goals, while Wales relied on a stunning strike from Allen and an own-goal from Wimmer, but Chris Coleman can be very happy with the point earned tonight. Thanks for joining us, see you next time!
M. Janko
Yellow Card
Austria
Frustration is really creeping into the ranks of the Austria players now and the guilty party on this occasion is Janko, who leaves a nasty stud on Chester's calf down the right-hand side. That could easily have been a red card, and the intent was certainly there!
E. Huws
N. Taylor
Wales
For Wales, the third and final change as Emyr Huws enter the action for the remaining minutes in place of Neil Taylor.
An extremely generous FIVE minutes of added time have been allocated by the referee here which will likely be due to the injuries suffered by Allen and then Almer. Still, it catalyses a massive cheer from the Ernst-Happel faithful who are urging their team to press ahead for the winner!
L. Schaub
M. Arnautović
Austria
Third and final change from Koller as he makes his last throw of the dice to claim all three points. Strangely, two-goal man, Arnautovic is the player coming off and he will be replaced by Louis Schaub, but the former does indeed look pretty fatigued so an understandable change.
Hennessey is down inside the Wales area at the moment and it is unclear whether this is a tactic to run down the clock or whether there is a legitimate knock. Either way, some vital minutes are being counted down for anyone to try and claim a dramatic winner in Vienna.
Wales have Austria camped inside ther own penalty area at the moment with three consecutive corner-kicks. Ledley is tasked with all of them which are sent menacingly into the danger area, but all the intensity comes out of the attack as Williams is penalised for pushing at the back post. Didn't look to be too much in that from the Everton man.
Just under 10 minutes remaining in this tight battle between Austria and Wales and things are getting slightly desperate for the home side now, who are looking to pepper the opposite goal with shots in the latter stages. Arnautovic and Alaba both have separate pops a minute apart, but both go the wrong side of the post.
A. Schöpf
Z. Junuzović
Austria
Marcel Koller follows suite and makes his second substitution of this Group D clash. Junuzovic is the man coming off and his replacement will be one of Austria's rare shining lights from the Euros, Alessandro Schopf, who netted against Iceland.
H. Robson-Kanu
S. Vokes
Wales
Another change from Wales and it sees Sam Vokes, who has put in a real shift up top, replaced by Hal Robson-Kanu. The West Brom striker was involved in one of the best moments of the Euros this summer with his quite fabulous spin and finish against Belgium in the quarter-final.
Some more conventional work this time from Bale as he utilises his electric pace to skip past the challenge of Wimmer and head inside towards the byline. He fires a wicked cross into the box with the outside of his left foot, but Ozcan reads it well between the sticks and proactively comes off his line to clear the danger with a punch.
If someone mentioned the many factors that make Bale a great player, it is likely that being a throw-in specialist would not be near the top of the list. However, the former Spurs man has been tasked with long throws so far this evening by Coleman, and actually appears to be pretty damn good at them. Rory Delap of Stoke fame would be proud!
Arnautovic and Wimmer link up neatly in the left channel and the former eventually breaks free from his marker before reversing a lovely little pass in behind the Wales defence for the oncoming Alaba, but Chester does brilliantly to get his body between the ball and the Bayern Munich star, before eventually earning the free-kick near his own byline.
Another set-piece opportunity for Wales now as Ledley sends in another cross from this left wing. The Crystal Palace midfielder loops the corner deep to the back post where he has plenty of team-mates waiting, and it is Chester who eventually makes contact, but only to send an attempt well over the bar. He should have did a lot better with that chance.
Bale comes deep to see a bit more of the ball and collects to feet before turning sharply with a signature touch round the corner, looking to burst into space in the middle. However, he is thwarted by some fantastic work from Baumgartlinger, who displays an impressive feat of strength to knock the Real Madrid powerhouse off the ball to win possession.
Another period of composed possession from Austria now as they attempt to grind down this Wales defence. The Dragons will be grateful of a small break as the play from the hosts isn't coming at them at a particularly high tempo, with Alaba more keeping things simple in those central areas currently.
Sabitzer picks up the ball to feet down the right-hand side and gains a yard on Taylor before curling a cross to the front post. Williams, whilst under plenty of pressure from Janko, does superbly well to clear behind for another corner-kick to the home side, though.
Interestingly, the differences between the two sides tonight have either came from moments of real brilliance or indeed a mistake. The opener from Allen and Arnautovic's first were both outstanding, but they were followed up by an own-goal from Wimmer and then a mistake in midfield from the visitors. Will it be one of these two things which proves the difference after 90 minutes?
B. Davies
Yellow Card
Wales
Davies is the latest player to go into the book now and it is for blocking off the run of Sabitzer into the box. Austria get the free-kick 20 yards out which Alaba will take, but the subsequent strike on goal goes disappointingly high and wide over the crossbar.
R. Özcan
R. Almer
Austria
The Ernst-Happel is the walking wounded at the moment as Austria are now forced into a change due to an injury to one of their players. Goalkeeper, Almer, has been struggling with what looks like an ankle of calf problem since about 20 minutes in, and has been unable to shake it off up until now which means he will be replaced by Ramazan Ozcan.
D. Edwards
J. Allen
Wales
Unfortunately for Coleman and Wales, the visitors are forced into their first change of the match due to an injury to Allen. The man coming on to replace the opening goalscorer will be Dave Edwards.
Bale stands over a free-kick down the left wing and steps up to tease a fantastic cross bouncing into the six-yard box. Almer is unsure what to do due to the attempted clearance of Baumgartlinger, but eventually manages to pick possession out of the air at the back post with no pressure coming from any Welshmen.
You have to commend Marcel Koller, as he has really put fire into the bellies of his charges at the break so they come out swinging in this second half. It is raining goals in Vienna tonight - more than we probably would have expected already! Keep them coming.
M. Arnautović
Yellow Card
Austria
We see the good side and the bad side of Arnautovic within the space of a few minutes now. Moments after proving himself a hero with a second goal, he flings a wayward arm into the face of Chester to earn a yellow card, and it could even have been a red had it been a little more forceful.
M. Arnautović
Goal
Austria
GOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLL FOR AUSTRIA! The hosts come flying out of the blocks in the second half! A miscommunication in the middle of the park between Allen and Chester allows Arnautovic to pounce before driving through one-on-one with the keeper and curling a lovely finish over the oncoming Hennessey! Two-two!
The second half is under way in this Group D battle.
Half-time in Vienna in what has been a brilliantly entertaining clash. Wales lead Austria 2-1 at the break thanks to a wonder striker from Joe Allen and an unfortunate own-goal from Kevin Wimmer, with a goal from Marko Arnautovic sandwiched in between for the hosts, who will be wondering how they are trailing with 45 minutes left to play. Second period to come.
K. Wimmer
Own Goal
Austria
GOOOOAAAAAAAALLLL FOR WALES! A horrible bit of misfortune for Wimmer! A corner is sent into the box and Chester bullets a header at goal which is saved by Almer, however the ball then bounces off the head of the despairing Tottenham defender, who witnesses it then cross over his own goalline! Two-one Wales - incredible!
Bale finds himself facing the corner flag inside the Austria half whilst under pressure from both Klein and Baumgartlinger. Possession eventually finds its way Williams, who still finds himself in an advanced area up the pitch following a failed set-piece from Wales, but the captain of the Dragons lets hosts off the hook by scything down Dragovic for the foul.
Five minutes to go in this highly entertaining first half and Chris Coleman's men will be eager to make it in to their half-time break with the scoreline all-square due to the sheer Austrian domination they are having to face currently. All the momentum is with the hosts, but they will be wanting to capitalise to get their second goal.
At the moment, Almer looks okay to continue.
Some potentially worrying scenes for Austria at the moment as their goalkeeper, Almer, is down inside his penalty box looking for some treatment from the physios. Unclear what the problem is, but the play is stopped temorarily while he receives some medical attention.
OH ANOTHER FANTASTIC STOP FROM HENNESSEY! The Crystal Palace man probably thought he would be kept busy tonight, but not necessarily by his own team-mates! On this occasion, he is called into action to tip over the crossbar following a wicked deflection off the foot of Chester. Some lovely stuff from Austria in the build-up.
GREAT SAVE FROM HENNESSEY! As Austria continue to knock at the door looking to create chances in the final third, the ball drops nicely for Junuzovic, who lets rip with a cracking strike at goal from around 30 yards out which whistles ominously towards the bottom left corner. The Wales keeper is equal to it, though, and gets down to beat away the danger.
The ascendancy is with Austria at the moment after scoring that equalising goal and the hosts look like the most likely team to get this potentially vital third goal. It was a moment of magic from Allen which gave Wales the lead in the first place, and they will need to find some at the other end of the pitch to weather this storm defensively.
A lot of people were expecting tonight's match to be extremely tight with two evenly matched teams battling it out towards a draw. This is true in the respect that we are currently at all-square, but there is a lot more attacking action than perhaps we would have predicted. Certainly not complaining!
D. Alaba
Assist
Austria
A superb moment of creativity from Austria's main man, Alaba, to get his nation back into this.
M. Arnautović
Goal
Austria
GOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLL FOR AUSTRIA! The hosts are back on level terms! Alaba is awarded far too much space on the ball 30 yards out and uses the time to pick out a lovely, clipped cross into the centre of the box for Arnautovic, who gets to it before Hennessey which allows him to nod a header low into the ground and into the back of the net! One-one.
To be fair to Austria, they have responded pretty positively from going a goal behind and they don't seem to be deviating from their gameplan too much. With a record of 10 straight tournament qualifying victories at home to keep going, they won't be too perturbed by going behind so early on.
Allen is the man who can't stop scoring at the moment! With that volley moments ago that nearly burst the Austria net, he makes it two goals in two appearances for Wales, which is the same record he currently holds with Stoke too after his equalising goal against Manchester United at the weekend. The confidence is flowing with the 'Welsh Xavi'.
C. Gunter
Assist
Wales
Good battling at the back post from Gunter, who just gets ahead of the defender to nudge possession out to his team-mate.
J. Allen
Goal
Wales
GOOOOAAAAALLLLL! GOOOAAAALLLL FOR WALES An absolute STUNNER from Joe Allen! Bale receives the ball to feet and turns sharply down the left wing before leaving his marker for dead. He swings a cross into the box which is cleared, but the Stoke midfielder is waiting 20 yards out to send a flying left-footed volley looping towards the left corner! Fabulous technique! One-nil.
Wales are being really patient here and again most of their play is with Williams, Chester, and Davies along the defence. The visitors could be doing with some more players showing for the ball in midfield, but Austria do have three or four players of their own in their at any given time.
A loose ball is sent speculatively down the left wing from Wales and Taylor absolutely bursts a gut to try and get on the end of it, sprinting right up until the byline. The Swansea man eventually gets there before driving a desperate cross into the box, but a lack of support from his team-mates means Almer can claim out of the air. None of the other Wales players probably thought he would make it!
Sabitzer has been a tricky customer so far for Austria and looks a real threat down that right flank up against Davies. To be fair to the Tottenham defender, though, he has dealt with the speed and direct running of the winger relatively comfortably so far, but still plenty of work to do.
Wales are just enjoying a small period of sustained possession along their three-man backline at the moment which is catalysing some boos from the home crowd, who are eager for Austria to press ahead a little higher up the park. Smart tactic from the visitors if they are hoping to create space in behind the opposition defence.
The Wales fans were christened as the 'Red Wall' during the Euros by their own players who were continuously buoyed by the support of their compatriots in the stands. Around 4,000 Welshmen have travelled to Vienna for his potentially tight fixture, but it is them you can here inside the Ernst-Happel at the moment!
That opening 10 minutes perfectly displayed to us how this match could potentially play out tonight. Austria will have the majority of possession throughout, but Wales can pose a massive threat on the counter-attack, and indeed from set-pieces much like they showed moments ago through Bale.
ASTONISHING SAVE FROM ALMER! From a Wales corner which is cleared, possession is clipped back into the danger area and Bale rises above his marker to bullet a superb header at goal which looks destined to find the corner. However, SOMEHOW the Austria stopper claws away the attempt from nearly behind the actual goalline. You won't see a better save than that in this round of internationals!
SAVE FROM HENNESSEY! Austria gain their opening corner-kick of the match and it is swung teasingly to the front post for Wimmer, who stoops down to dart a header on goal, but he is thwarted by the Wales goalkeeper, who makes the vital stop a yard away from the line.
A really positive start to the match from Austria, who have a quite outstanding recent record at home in tournament qualifiers. They are dominating these early stages and it looks like Wales are definitely set up on the counter, which may actually play to the strengths of the Dragons.
Even with a vital three points at stake here tonight, there is indeed an underlying storyline developing between the two coaches. This week, Austria boss Marcel Koller claimed that Wales were LUCKY to reach the semi-finals of the Euros in the summer, to which Chris Coleman retorted that there were plenty of nations who did not live up to their apparent reputations at the tournament, referring to his opposite number's squad. Certainly a feud to keep an eye on in Group D.
We are under way in Vienna, and what a cracking atmosphere to greet the opening whistle!
Wales (3-5-2): Hennessey; Chester, Williams, Davies; Gunter, Ledley, Allen, King, Taylor; Vokes, Bale.
Austria (4-4-1-1): Almer; Klein, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Wimmer; Sabitzer, Baumgartlinger, Alaba, Arnautovic; Junuzovic; Janko.
TEAM NEWS...
Austria and Wales have only faced each other twice in the past 11 years. The first occasion was a 2006 World Cup qualifying fixture and ended in a narrow 1-0 win for Das Team, but the Dragons would gain a small amount of retribution three years ago in a 2-1 win, but this was an international friendly so there would have been a lack of competitive edge. Expect no such friendliness this evening!
A month ago, both sets of players were coming off contrasting fortunes from the European Championships in France this summer. Wales lit up the tournament and took some big international scalps in the process as they made it to a semi-final to the first time in their history, but it was a different story for Austria who went out in the group stage despite an outstanding qualifying campaign which earned them the title of potential 'dark horses' to make an impact in the latter stages of the competition.
At the beginning of September, both nations recorded their opening win of qualifying. Wales made short work of Moldova and ran out comfortable 4-0 winners at the Millennium Stadium thanks to strikes from Sam Vokes, Joe Allen, and a double from Gareth Bale, while Austria claimed three points against Georgia with a narrow 2-1 victory in Tbilisi.
This is now the second round of international fixtures this season as all the nations around the world step up their attempts to make it to the biggest football tournament on the planet in Russia in 2018. Each outfit in Group D has played one match so far, and we should be in for a cracking clash tonight as the only two sides in the standings who have won, Austria and Wales, face-off in a top-of-the-table clash.
Good evening football fans! Welcome to LIVE coverage of the 2018 World Cup qualifying Group D encounter between Austria and Wales from the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna.
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