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Northern Ireland lose out to Austria to set up Nations League relegation battle

Austria 1-0 Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis missed his side's best chance on a frustrating night in Vienna.

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis missed his side's best chance on a frustrating night in Vienna.

AFP/Getty Images

Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans (R) and Austria's Stefan Lainer vie for a ball

Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans (R) and Austria's Stefan Lainer vie for a ball

AFP/Getty Images

Austria's Valentino Lazaro (left) and Northern Ireland's Jamal Lewis battle for the ball during the UEFA Nations League match at the Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 12, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Austria. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

Austria's Valentino Lazaro (left) and Northern Ireland's Jamal Lewis battle for the ball during the UEFA Nations League match at the Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 12, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Austria. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

PA

Northern Ireland's Steven Davis shoots wide during the UEFA Nations League match at the Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 12, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Austria. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

Northern Ireland's Steven Davis shoots wide during the UEFA Nations League match at the Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 12, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Austria. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

PA

Northern Ireland fans during the UEFA Nations League match at the Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 12, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Austria. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

Northern Ireland fans during the UEFA Nations League match at the Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 12, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Austria. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

PA

Northern Ireland's Shane Ferguson appears dejected during the UEFA Nations League match at the Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 12, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Austria. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

Northern Ireland's Shane Ferguson appears dejected during the UEFA Nations League match at the Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 12, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Austria. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

PA

Austria's Stefan Ilsanker (r) and Northern Ireland's George Saville vie for a ball during the UEFA Nations League group B match between Austria and Northern Ireland at Ernst Happel stadium in Vienna ,Austria on October 12, 2018. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

Austria's Stefan Ilsanker (r) and Northern Ireland's George Saville vie for a ball during the UEFA Nations League group B match between Austria and Northern Ireland at Ernst Happel stadium in Vienna ,Austria on October 12, 2018. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Northern Ireland's Steven Davis (l) and Austria's Andreas Ulmer vie for a ball during the UEFA Nations League group B match between Austria and Northern Ireland at Ernst Happel stadium in Vienna, Austria on October 12, 2018. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

Northern Ireland's Steven Davis (l) and Austria's Andreas Ulmer vie for a ball during the UEFA Nations League group B match between Austria and Northern Ireland at Ernst Happel stadium in Vienna, Austria on October 12, 2018. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Northern Ireland's Steven Davis reacts in front of Austria's goalkeeper Heinz Lindner during the UEFA Nations League group B match between Austria and Northern Ireland at Ernst Happel stadium in Vienna, Austria on October 12, 2018. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

Northern Ireland's Steven Davis reacts in front of Austria's goalkeeper Heinz Lindner during the UEFA Nations League group B match between Austria and Northern Ireland at Ernst Happel stadium in Vienna, Austria on October 12, 2018. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Northern Ireland's coach Michael O'Neill attends the UEFA Nations League Group B football match Austria v Northern Ireland at the Ernst Happel stadium in Vienna, Austria on October 12, 2018. (Photo by GEORG HOCHMUTH / APA / AFP) / Austria OUTGEORG HOCHMUTH/AFP/Getty Images

Northern Ireland's coach Michael O'Neill attends the UEFA Nations League Group B football match Austria v Northern Ireland at the Ernst Happel stadium in Vienna, Austria on October 12, 2018. (Photo by GEORG HOCHMUTH / APA / AFP) / Austria OUTGEORG HOCHMUTH/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Austria's Andreas Ulmer (right) and Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas battle for the ball.

Austria's Andreas Ulmer (right) and Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas battle for the ball.

PA

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 12th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Austria's Stefan Ilsanker with Northern Ireland's /n8/ during Friday nights UEFA Nations League game at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Austria's Stefan Ilsanker with Northern Ireland's /n8/ during Friday nights UEFA Nations League game at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 12th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Austria's Marko Arnautovic with Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Friday nights UEFA Nations League game at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Austria's Marko Arnautovic with Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Friday nights UEFA Nations League game at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Austria's Marko Arnautovic (right) and Northern Ireland's Jamal Lewis battle for the ball during the UEFA Nations League match at the Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 12, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Austria. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

Austria's Marko Arnautovic (right) and Northern Ireland's Jamal Lewis battle for the ball during the UEFA Nations League match at the Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 12, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Austria. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

PA

Austria's Valentino Lazaro with Northern Ireland's Jamal Lewis during Friday nights UEFA Nations League game at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria.

Austria's Valentino Lazaro with Northern Ireland's Jamal Lewis during Friday nights UEFA Nations League game at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 12th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Liam Boyce sits out the warm-up before Friday nights UEFA Nations League game against Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Liam Boyce sits out the warm-up before Friday nights UEFA Nations League game against Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 12th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans during Friday nights UEFA Nations League game against Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans during Friday nights UEFA Nations League game against Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 12th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans during Friday nights UEFA Nations League game against Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans during Friday nights UEFA Nations League game against Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair prepares to start at right-back against Austria.

Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair prepares to start at right-back against Austria.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 11th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Michael O'Neill during Thursday nights training session at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, ahead of their UEFA Nations League game against Austria.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Michael O'Neill during Thursday nights training session at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, ahead of their UEFA Nations League game against Austria.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 11th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Michael O'Neill during Thursday nights training session at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, ahead of their UEFA Nations League game against Austria.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Michael O'Neill during Thursday nights training session at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, ahead of their UEFA Nations League game against Austria.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 11th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Trevor Carson during Thursday nights training session at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, ahead of their UEFA Nations League game against Austria.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Trevor Carson during Thursday nights training session at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, ahead of their UEFA Nations League game against Austria.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 11th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Bailey Peacock Farrell during Thursday nights training session at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, ahead of their UEFA Nations League game against Austria.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th October 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Bailey Peacock Farrell during Thursday nights training session at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, ahead of their UEFA Nations League game against Austria.

©William Cherry / Presseye

PACEMAKER BELFAST  11/10/2018
Northern Ireland' Manager Michael O'Neill   during open training  at the Ernst Happel Stadium  in Vienna, ahead of Northern Ireland's  UEFA Nations League match against Austria on Friday evening.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 11/10/2018 Northern Ireland' Manager Michael O'Neill during open training at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, ahead of Northern Ireland's UEFA Nations League match against Austria on Friday evening. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  11/10/2018
Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas   during open training  at the Ernst Happel Stadium  in Vienna, ahead of Northern Ireland's  UEFA Nations League match against Austria on Friday evening.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 11/10/2018 Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas during open training at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, ahead of Northern Ireland's UEFA Nations League match against Austria on Friday evening. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  11/10/2018
Northern Ireland'sStuart Dallas   during open training  at the Ernst Happel Stadium  in Vienna, ahead of Northern Ireland's  UEFA Nations League match against Austria on Friday evening.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 11/10/2018 Northern Ireland'sStuart Dallas during open training at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, ahead of Northern Ireland's UEFA Nations League match against Austria on Friday evening. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  11/10/2018
Northern Ireland's Bailey Peacock Farrell  during open training  at the Ernst Happel Stadium  in Vienna, ahead of Northern Ireland's  UEFA Nations League match against Austria on Friday evening.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 11/10/2018 Northern Ireland's Bailey Peacock Farrell during open training at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, ahead of Northern Ireland's UEFA Nations League match against Austria on Friday evening. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  11/10/2018
Northern Ireland during open training  at the Ernst Happel Stadium  in Vienna, ahead of Northern Ireland's  UEFA Nations League match against Austria on Friday evening.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 11/10/2018 Northern Ireland during open training at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, ahead of Northern Ireland's UEFA Nations League match against Austria on Friday evening. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  11/10/2018
Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill and Gavin Whyte     during open training  at the Ernst Happel Stadium  in Vienna, ahead of Northern Ireland's  UEFA Nations League match against Austria on Friday evening.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 11/10/2018 Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill and Gavin Whyte during open training at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, ahead of Northern Ireland's UEFA Nations League match against Austria on Friday evening. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  11/10/2018
Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair     during open training  at the Ernst Happel Stadium  in Vienna, ahead of Northern Ireland's  UEFA Nations League match against Austria on Friday evening.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 11/10/2018 Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair during open training at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, ahead of Northern Ireland's UEFA Nations League match against Austria on Friday evening. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

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Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis missed his side's best chance on a frustrating night in Vienna.

Northern Ireland lost a narrow game in Austria to make it two defeats from two in their inaugral UEFA Nations League campaign.

West Ham striker Marko Arnautović netted the only goal when he held his run to stay onside, ghosted behind right-back Paddy McNair and finished with aplomb past a helpless Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Reaction:

The result means Northern Ireland are three points adrift at the foot of the table with two games to play. They'll have to do better in Bosnia & Herzegovinia on Monday and at home to Austria on November 18 if they're to avoid relegation to the third tier of the UEFA Nations League. Austria are in second place on three points with B&H top after two wins from two.

Northern Ireland are now without a win in six competitive fixtures, since beating the Cech Republic at home in September last year.

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It was a tight game that saw few real chances created. The hosts took their one guilt-edged opportunity and Northern Ireland couldn't do likewise.

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It was captain Steven Davis who spurned his side's best chance at the start of the second half. He did well to force Sebastian Prödl into a mistake and run through on goal but, from a narrow angle, he dragged his shot harmlessly wide.

After Arnautovic's well-taken strike, Northern Ireland were given an added impetus in attack through the introduction of debutant Kyle Vassell and more-so fellow sub Will Grigg. The Wigan forward almost equalised in spectacular style when he flicked a near post header behind himself, across goal and agonisingly off the foot of the post.

Here's the game as it happened:

 


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