SOUTHAMPTON (REUTERS) – Austria picked up their first points in this year’s Women’s European Championship with a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland thanks to goals from defender Katharina Schiechtl and substitute Katharina Naschenweng at St. Mary’s Stadium on Monday.
Austria went ahead in the 19th minute after midfielder Sarah Puntigam’s low free-kick near the edge of the box took a slight deflection off Irish defender Julie Nelson and Schiechtl found space to tap the ball home at the far post.
The 2017 semi-finalists came close to scoring a second goal before halftime when Barbara Dunst tried to lob Jacqueline Burns following a defensive error but the Northern Ireland goalkeeper did well to tip it onto the bar.
Naschenweng, who came on in the 73rd minute, finally doubled Austria’s lead in the 88th after she charged into the box and clipped a composed low shot into the bottom corner.
Northern Ireland, the lowest-ranked side in the tournament, were playing without forward Simone Magill after she was ruled out of the campaign with a knee injury.
They showed more intent in the second half but failed to create clear chances in their quest for goals, suffering their second straight defeat to remain bottom of Group A.
The victory kept Austria in third spot on three points, below England and Norway, who are due to play later in Brighton.