Austria create history

Austria reached the semi finals of their first ever major tournament after a 5-4 penalty shootout success against Spain on Sunday evening. Spain were lucky to quality for the quarter final after they lost 1-0 to Scotland on Wednesday.

However it was the Spanish who started the better as Vicky Losada saw her strike from point blank range well saved by Manuela Zinsberger in the Austria goal as she spread herself to keep the effort out with her leg.

Silvia Meseguer who applies her trade at Atletico Madrid had the next opening on eight minutes but she saw her effort blocked by Carina Wenninger.

Mari Paz Vilas was next to try her luck for the Spanish as Marta Corredera had whipped in a sublime cross to the back post in the 11th minute.

Mapi León was then denied by a fine save by Zinsberger on 15 minutes as she saw her stunning thirty-five-yard effort tipped over the crossbar.

Nicole Billa created Austria’s first chance shortly afterwards as she latched onto a Sarah Puntigam cross but volleyed her effort wide of the target when she really should have done better.

As the game slowed down and became somewhat scrappy the next opening fell the way of Spain on the stroke of the break as Meseguer was played in by a defence splitting defence by Amanda Sampedro.

Austria began the second half well and it was the turn of Nadine Prohaska to try her luck but she saw header well saved by Sandra Panos in the Spanish goal as he leapt like a salmon to push the ball around the post for a corner.

Meseguer was putting in a fantastic performance from midfield and she created another opening on 57 minutes as she saw her rasping effort well tipped over the crossbar.

Olga García was next to try her luck the Barcelona player hit a sweet as a nut strike from eight yards out after she was played through by Marta Torrejón.

Five minutes later Garcia tried her luck again as she linked up once again with Torrejón but she curled her effort just wide of the target.

Spain thought they had the opener when Mari Paz Vilas found herself in acres of space but she chipped her effort over the crossbar when she had beaten Zinsberger all ends up.

With fifteen minutes left Irene Paredes had the next opportunity of note for the Spanish as she got on the end of Alexia Putella’s corner but she could only direct her header wide of the target.

The game went quiet once again the final chance of the 90 coming with the last kick of the ball when Jenni Hermoso linked up with Garcia but she lashed her effort over the crossbar when she should have been more composed.

Extra time started with the underdogs on top and they had the opening chance when Nina Burger crossed for Laura Feiersinger but she hit her shot over the crossbar from close range when she really should have tested Panos.

Mapi León had the best chance of the first half of extra time as she hit a powerful effort goal wards only to see it saved by Zinsberger in the Austria goal the keeper getting down smartly to hold on.

Meseguer had the first chance of the second half of extra time as she hit a low strike from the edge of the area just wide of the target.

With time running out Zinsberger made another good stop to keep out Virginia Torrecilla as her long-range effort was set for the top corner of the net only for the keeper to make a superb save palming the effort away.

This was how it was to end before Zinsberger made herself the hero in the penalty shootout saving Meseguers effort.

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