The Austria national football team will play two final World Cup qualifiers against Israel on 12 November and Moldova on 15 November at the Wörthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt. The Austrian Football Association (ÖFB) announced this in a broadcast on Monday. Kick-off is at 8.45 pm (live and in livestream on ORF1).
As already announced, the first home match in autumn as part of World Cup qualification will be against Scotland at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna on 7 September (8.45 pm). Earlier, team boss Franco Foda’s World Cup qualifying doubles selection is on schedule against Moldova (in Chisinau) and Israel (in Haifa) on 1 and 4 September. The national team will also play away twice in October. The Faroe Islands and Denmark will be played on 9 and 12 October.
After three match days and one win (3: 1 against the Faroe Islands in Vienna), one draw (2: 2 in Glasgow against Scotland) and one loss (0: 4 in Vienna against Denmark), the Austrian ranked group Tied in F. Israel in fourth place. The table is topped by Denmark with a maximum of nine points, followed by Scotland with five points. At one point, the Faroe Islands and Moldova hold down.
World Cup participation in Qatar as next target
OFB’s clear goal is to participate in the World Cup in Qatar for the first time since reaching the European Championship Round 16. To stay in the race for first place, you need three wins after a false start in March, including a 4-0 home loss against Denmark. Strong EM performance gives hope. About the FB kicker, FB sports director Peter Schottel said, “You’ve set the bar too high.”
As the 54-year-old Viennese confirmed in early July, Foda will remain the FB team boss, even if he misses out on direct qualification. The German’s contract not only lasts until the end of World Cup qualification, but also covers World Cup play-off matches. Its chances are pretty good due to a group win in Nations League 2020 – if actual World Cup qualification should go wrong.
Only group winners qualified directly.
In March 2022, the final three European World Cup tickets will be awarded in three four-way tournaments – each with a semi-final and a final without a second leg. Only ten group winners of the World Cup qualifiers qualified directly for Qatar. The twelve participants in the “Remaining Place Exchange” are the ten runners-up and the two best remaining group winners of the Nations League.
Austria has great opportunities there. Only if the two teams from the top division quintet France, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Wales do not finish their qualifying groups in one of the first two places, the OFB team will be eliminated from the list. The World Cup final in Qatar in November and December 2022 will be the first for Austria since 1998. If successful, the contract with Foda would be extended until after the World Cup.
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