Stefan Bergmeister was dismissed three minutes into the second-half as Austria slipped to a two-nil defeat to the Netherlands in their opening round-robin Group 5 qualifier for next summer’s UEFA U19 Championship in Greece.
As the Group 5 “hosts”, the Netherlands showed why they’re favourites to win the group with a confident performance in Enschede, despite early pressure from Austria. Rauch and Stark both went close for the visitors before Martin Verbeek turned home a ball from Berghuis at the far post.
The Austrian game-plan was undone shortly after the interval when Bergmeister swung an arm at Berghuis while jumping for a header in the middle of the park, catching his opponent with his elbow and the German referee instantly produced a red card.
Surman encouraged Austria to push forwards on the break, but the numerical disadvantage proved too much for them and they rarely penetrated the penalty box in the final half hour, despite some solid play at the back. Most notably from René Schröder who picked up the man of the match award.
With twenty minutes to go, Tristan Berghuis put the game beyond the visitors as he got the final touch on a loose ball in the box that squirmed its way past Hochleitner and trickled over the line.
Bergmeister has been given an automatic one-match ban for his dismissal, which may be extended for the charge of violent conduct. Gray Surman confirmed that the Austrian camp will not appeal. In the other Group 5 match, Estonia and Andorra drew 1-1.
Friday: Andorra v. Austria, Netherlands v. Estonia.
UEFA U-19 CHAMPIONSHIP FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND GROUP 5 NETHERLANDS 2-0 AUSTRIA Verbeek 18 Berghuis 69 Grolsche Veste, Enschede
GROUP 5 P W D L F A GD Pts 1. Netherlands 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 3 2. Andorra 1 0 1 0 1 1 +0 1 =. Estonia 1 0 1 0 1 1 +0 1 4. Austria 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0