David Alaba and Austria didn’t make it easy on themselves, but after trailing twice in today’s game at home against Israel, they eventually grabbed the winner in the 72nd minute to put themselves level on points with Israel in tonight’s Group F World Cup qualifier.
Denmark have already ran away with this group (nine wins out of nine, with a maximum 27 points), while Scotland sit comfortably in second with 20 points. Israel were in third with 13 points, and Austria were already eliminated from World Cup contention. Before winning this game they trailed Israel by three points — good for fourth place in the group. They have zero chance of finishing above third.
Alaba started as Austria’s left-back tonight, and was, as always, important as the team’s primary ball-progressor from the back. He put in numerous good crosses that were cleared away, and also almost had an assist from a well-hit out-swinging set-piece in the 56th minute. He continually showed himself as an outlet, and looked to play quick 1-2s in the left half-space.
Though, Alaba had his struggles too. He had two poor giveaways (which ultimately Israel didn’t capitalize on), and also fell asleep conceding Israel’s second goal, where he let Dor Peretz peel off him and get open to score at the far post from a corner kick.
Alaba finished the game with 82 touches, four key passes, one shot, two completed dribbles, and an 89.1% passing accuracy.