Historic win for Austria

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:25 AM ET

Rubin Okotie was in tears following Austria's first game at the Under-20 World Cup, having missed a golden chance to give his team the victory over Congo.

Last night it was Canadian Simeon Jackson who missed a great opportunity late.

Jackson found himself in all alone behind the Austrian defence deep into injury time but drifted his shot wide allowing the Europeans to escape with a 1-0 win.

"It's disappointing because that one could have gotten us the equalizer," Jackson said. "I saw the goalie coming out and I tried to put it around him and I placed it wide in the end."

BLOWN OPPORTUNITY

The glorious chance came after striking partner Tosaint Ricketts flicked a header over the Austrian defenders right onto the path of Jackson.

"It's disappointing, but we have to get our heads up," Jackson said.

"We have a lot of professionals in here, so we'll rally around each other and get ready for our next game."

Ironically, it was Okotie who scored the Austrian goal, redeeming himself for the miss in the previous game.

Early in the second half he rose above everyone to head home a corner.

The goal proved to be a historic one for Austria as it advanced the country into the second round of the world youth tournament for the first time in the 103-year existence of their soccer federation.

"I wanted to play well today and score a goal and I was able to do that," Okotie said. "Getting that goal and winning that game is overwhelming, it's emotional."

With the loss, Canada is in danger of being eliminated after the first round of play. The host now must beat Congo in their final group game on Sunday in Edmonton and hope it's enough to earn them a spot in the second round.

"It's a tough loss," said Canadian goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

"It's tough for our team to play against a team that just defends for 90 minutes. We're used to having it the other way around. But we just couldn't break them down. They did a good job on their set pieces and they were able to get the goal."

With Canada having lost their first game and Austria having tied theirs, both teams were expected to come out and play for the win.

However neither ventured too far beyond their side of the field in the first half which produced few scoring chances and fewer reasons for the home crowd to get excited.

In the second half, Austrian striker Erwin Hoffer opened the proceedings by launching a fierce strike which Begovic tipped over the bar.

Okotie then scored on the ensuing corner.

"There is nothing much to say," said Ricketts. "We gave it our all and we just didn't execute on the chances that we had. It's a tough loss."

FORCED TO OPEN UP

The Austrian goal forced Canada to take a more offensive approached to the game. Head coach Dale Mitchell pushed another player forward in an attempt to tie the game.

One of the better chances fell to midfielder Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault who got to the end of a cross and headed the ball down towards the net, only to have it bounce of the crossbar.

Ricketts and Will Johnson also had chances on headers but couldn't convert.

"We created some chances," said Ricketts.

"We could have created more. But we have to find the way to put the ball in the net."


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