Greece pitted against Austria in U21 European Championship playoffs
On Friday afternoon, the draw for the 2019 UEFA European Championship qualification playoffs took place in Nyon, with the under 21 Greek national team pitted against Austria.
Having finished in second place of Group 1 with 25 points, Greece U21 became one of the four best group runners-up, in turn earning a place in the qualification playoffs for the 2019 UEFA European Championship. The possible opponents for Friday’s draw were Portugal, Poland and Austria with the team pitted against the Austrians.
Greece U21 will host the first playoff match against Austria on November 12 before the return leg is played on Austrian territory on November 20. The winner qualifies for the 2019 UEFA European Championship which is scheduled to be held between June 16-30 in Italy.
Placed in Group 7 with Serbia, Russia, Armenia, FYROM and Gibraltar, the Austrians managed to claim an impressive second spot, trailing group winners Serbia by four points. Austria defeated the Russians 3:2 in the final game to take a playoff berth and 21-year old Holstein Kiel midfielder Mathias Honsak was their top scorer with six goals to his name.
After the draw was made, under 21 Greek national team head coach Antonis Nikopolidis shared his views: “This is a good draw for us, because was avoided Portugal,” revealed the UEFA Euro 2004 winner. “Both teams have equal chances of qualifying for the tournament. As yet, we don’t have a clear picture of how Austria play, but we watched their friendly against the Czech Republic and they managed to emerge from a difficult group with Serbia and Russia. The small details will decide the outcome. We can’t afford to concede a goal at home in the first leg.”
2019 UEFA U21 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP
Italy (hosts), Croatia, Spain, Denmark, England, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Serbia, Romania and France have already qualified for the tournament. On November 23, after the playoffs have reached their completion, the draw for the competition will be made as the 12 teams are split up into four separate groups. All semi-finalists will then earn qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
by Shaun Nicolaides
Image Source: sdna.gr