Ireland's record in Vienna is of the "look away now" variety

Austria are something of a bogey team

BY Raf Diallo 14:02 Saturday 12 November 2016, 14:02 12 Nov 2016

Dejection Ireland fans take down their flags with the final score in the background ©INPHO/Tom Honan

As the Irish rugby team showed against New Zealand, history can be banished with a high-octane performance.

They ended 111 years of hurt against the mighty All-Blacks in Chicago.

But for the national football team, we have bogey sides of our own. 

One is Saturday's World Cup qualifier opponents Austria who we face in Vienna.

The beautiful central European city unfortunately doesn't lend itself to nice memories when it comes to Ireland's footballing visits over the years.


Ireland's first international match against Austria did not go well. At least that's what you can conclude from a 6-0 result at Praeter Park, the former name of the Ernst Happel Stadion where Martin O'Neill will take his side on Saturday.

Robert Dienst's double, Adolf Huber's hat-trick and Walter Haummel's goals proved the difference on that day and also legendary manager Ernst Happel played in that match.

One consolation is that 1952 match was a friendly rather than competitive and it must be acknowledged that Austria were one of the better sides in Europe during the 1930s and 1950s.

Indeed, in 1954, they finished third at the World Cup in neighbouring Switzerland.


Another defeat, although it wasn't as heavy this time, as it was a 3-1 scoreline. 

Centre-forward Dermot Curtis got the only goal for Ireland in Vienna.

Karl Decker, who had been in the team that won 6-0 six years earlier, was manager this time.


The first time Ireland avoided a loss to Austria in Vienna, although they couldn't win. It ended up being a scoreless draw.

Decker was still Austria manager for that European Nations Cup qualifier.

Ireland would win the return match in Dublin a couple of weeks later by a 3-2 scoreline.


Austria's David Alaba scores the winning goal ©INPHO/Donall Farmer


After drawing three years earlier, the defeat trend started again for Ireland in Vienna.

However, it was a narrow 1-0 reverse with Walter Seitl scoring 15 minutes from time in the friendly encounter.


For the second time, Austria handed Ireland a 6-0 away drubbing as they waltzed through a 1972 European Championship qualifier.

However, the match took place in another city, Linz, rather than Vienna.

Thomas Parits got a hat-trick in the first Ireland match managed by the late, great Liam Tuohy. 


There was a gap of 24 years before Ireland had to make another trip to Austria and by then things had changed. Jack Charlton's era had yielded three major tournament appearances.

But by 1995, it was the beginning of the end as Euro 96 qualification slipped through the Boys in Green's fingers.

Having made a relatively slow start to the qualifying campaign, including a 3-1 defeat at home to Austria in June of that year, Ireland made the trip to Vienna in Septemeber '95 but would return empty handed yet again.

Peter Stoger is a name that won't be forgotten in a hurry as the current FC Koln manager scored a hat-trick in a 3-1 result with Paul McGrath's 74th minute goal to pull it back to 2-1 proving a consolation.


The last Vienna visit was in the fading days of the Giovanni Trapattoni era as Ireland sought 2014 World Cup qualification.

In March of 2013, David Alaba would score a late equaliser in Dublin to prevent the Boys in Green from notching a 2-1 win.

And he would be the difference against at the Ernst Happel Stadion six months later as he scored the winner in a 1-0 win six minutes from time.


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