Austria had a strong tournament during Euro 2022 before they were knocked out of the tournament by Germany in the quarter-finals. In this match report, we look at their 1-0 victory against Norway and focus on the younger plays that did feature for the Austrian side.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, re-watch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Austria
- Age: 23
- Date of Birth: 13/01/1999
- Current Club: Arsenal
- Career: SKN St. Pölten, Hoffenheim II, Hoffenheim
- Position: right back
Austria played in a 4-1-4-1 formation and Laura Wienroither played as the right full back in the four-player defence. In this role, she defended compactly but also was instrumental in the way that Austria attacked and interacted a lot with wide midfielder Julia Hickelsberg-Füller.
In the defensive side of the game Wienroither did very well in this particular game. She managed to come back from COVID and there were no signs of it, as she was eager to stay close to her direct opponents Guro Reiten and Julie Blakstad. She reads the game well and knows when to engage with the opponent in a duel or a tackle, but also thinks ahead with proactive ideas to intercept the ball. Her work ethic does a lot of her work and although she can be found out of position at the times, her recovering ability via pressing or tackling was impressive.
On the ball she was instrumental in the way that Austria attacked. The build-up started with the central defensive duo and would then go up to the full backs. In the case of Wienroither it means that she would pass the ball to the half-space or central areas, after which she made a run down the line – before receiving the ball in the attacking third. She managed to utilise the space as her opposition was often higher on the pitch. She can distribute passes to the midfield and attack, but also carry the ball into more dangerous areas – contributing to the attacking threat from the flanks. Her cross comes from the right areas, but the execution of the cross can be better. She also needs to make better decisions when she comes in the right areas. She gets there, but doesn’t time her actions correctly or lacks the overall vision to maximise the attacking opportunities.
In terms of set pieces she adds something else, as she is very clever in the way she takes throw-ins, but also when she is part of the throw-in routine – she knows how to get the ball in the right positions without being confined to tight spaces.
- Nationality: Austria
- Age: 23
- Date of Birth: 01/08/1999
- Current Club: SKN St. Pölten
- Career: Neulengbach, SKN St. Pölten
- Position: right wide-midfielder
Austria played in a 4-1-4-1 formation and Julia Hickelsberger played as the right wide midfielder or/and winger in the four-player midfield. In this role, she was tasked with the attacking duties in which she received the ball from Wienroither a lot. Defensively she needed to be solid and track back, as Austria tended to defend with a 4-5-1 at times.
On the ball, she is a very sold midfielder. She is always open to receiving the ball and when she does, she has different options. Hickelsberger has the ability to control the ball and make a run down the line, using her dribbling ability in the process. She is great in the 1v1s as she can beat her opponent with a skill, but always goes for the same movement – which can prove to be rather predictable as well. When she beats her marker, she can provide crosses into the box for the striker and the late runs from the attacking midfielders.
In a slightly different role on the ball, she can provide a threat as well, as she can play as a kind of playmaker with her technical profile. She will then invert into the half-spaces and central areas. This doesn’t only allow her to give decisive passes via through balls, but also gives spaces on the right flank for the upcoming fullback Wienroither – who will go into that space.
As a winger/wide midfielder in the 4-1-4-1 formation, she does not have a great defensive awareness as she overcommits in attack and gets caught in the transition from defence to attack. This means her starting position is too high and that will affect her defensive abilities. She will tackle a lot more than intercepting the ball and that’s also an indication of a reactive playing style in defence, rather than a proactive one. This is also the consequence of her poor positioning, but she recovers quite well – which means she is an asset in defence, aiding Wienroither in the process.