Football: Wasteful Austria leave it late to beat minnows Moldova

Marcel Sabitzer of Austria celebrates after scoring the 1-0 lead during the FIFA World Cup 2018 Group D qualifying soccer match between Austria and Moldova at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria on March 24, 2017.
Marcel Sabitzer of Austria celebrates after scoring the 1-0 lead during the FIFA World Cup 2018 Group D qualifying soccer match between Austria and Moldova at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria on March 24, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

VIENNA (REUTERS) - Austria squandered a hatful of chances before two goals in the last 15 minutes gave them a 2-0 win over Moldova which kept their World Cup qualifying hopes alive on Friday.

Marcel Sabitzer scored with a glancing header from Marko Arnautovic's cross in the 75th minute and substitute Martin Harnik added the second in the last minute to leave them four points behind leading pair Serbia and Ireland in Group D.

David Alaba struck the underside of the crossbar in an early attack, leading to a tale of frustration as the ball refused to cross the line for the hosts.

Arnautovic, Guido Burgstaller and Zlatko Junuzovic all missed chances in the run-up to half-time and it was little different in the second half as Austria enjoyed 63 per cent of possession and forced 13 corners.

Austria last played at the World Cup finals in 1998 while Moldova, bottom of the group with one point, have never qualified.