Article

International Friendly: Austria 1 Uruguay 1

5 March 2014 23:24

Alvaro Pereira's close-range finish was enough to secure Uruguay a 1-1 draw against a tenacious Austria side in Klagenfurt.

Trabzonspor striker Marc Janko opened the scoring for the hosts after 14 minutes, capitalising on Zlatko Junuzovic's flick, while Marko Arnautovic should have added a second a few minutes later but was denied by the post.

Luis Suarez then cannoned a free-kick off the crossbar just before the break as Uruguay responded, before Pereira pounced on a goalmouth scramble to equalise midway through the second half.

Suarez nearly scored a winner with another menacing free-kick late on, but the World Cup-bound visitors could not break through a determined Austrian rearguard.

Austria coach Marcel Koller named a strong side, eager to begin his side's preparations for their UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying campaign early.

Despite missing Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani with a thigh injury, Uruguay still named a talented starting line-up, with record cap holder Diego Forlan making his 108th international appearance.

The hosts began brightly, with Arnautovic sending a vicious half-volley over the crossbar within five minutes.

And they were rewarded for their early efforts when striker Janko latched onto a clever backheel from Junuzovic to drill a low shot past Fernando Muslera.

They nearly doubled their lead five minutes later, as David Alaba's free-kick forced Muslera into a stunning save, before Arnautovic lashed the rebound off the post and wide.

Uruguay began to settle as the first half wore on and they were nearly level in spectacular fashion when the in-form Suarez sent a 30-yard free-kick clattering off the crossbar.

The Liverpool striker was in the thick of things once again 15 minutes before the break, flicking Cristian Rodriguez's set-piece into the path of Jose Maria Giminez, who looped his effort over the crossbar from point-blank range.

Austria continued to attack themselves, though, and they nearly had an unlikely second just before the break when Alaba's audacious lob forced another brilliant save from Muslera.

As Uruguay pressed at the start of the second half, Suarez nearly made them pay when he burst clean through before forcing a smart save from Robert Almer.

And parity was finally restored five minutes later when the hosts failed to deal with teasing free-kick from the left and Gimenez's flick found substitute Pereira, who tapped home.

Suarez curled another free-kick just wide late on as the visitors pressed for a winner, but they were forced to settle for a draw.

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