The Austrian goalkeeper, Mario Krassnitzer, denied the Republic of Ireland's bid to rescue a point in their European Under-21 Championship Group Six qualifier as they lost 1-0 in Amstetten yesterday.
He pulled off a series of stunning saves from Declan Perkins, David Greene and Willie Boland to make the Republic's youngsters pay for giving away a sloppy goal from a corner in the ninth minute, when Jurgen Kauz was left unmarked.
Although Austria were reduced to 10 men for the last 26 minutes when Gunter Schiesswald was sent off for a professional foul on Andy Turner, Ireland could not break through. The Republic now lie fourth in the qualifying group, with no chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
In the 79th minute, an equaliser looked certain when Greene rose above everyone at the far post, but saw his header from Steve Carr's curling cross beaten away by the athletic keeper.
The Republic manager, Maurice Setters, said: "We had time to put it right after conceding a bad early goal but it didn't happen for us. We needed to change our game after the sending off and we took a risk with three at the front, but although everybody worked hard, we couldn't get the point we deserved."
AUSTRIA: Krassnitzer; Jovamovic, Hiden, Glasner, Schiesswald, Kitzbichler, Kouz, Panis, Haas (Amershauser, 80), Silberburger, Wagner (Leitner, 68).
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Given (Swindon); Carr (Tottenham), Woods (Tranmere), Greene (Luton), Breen (Peterborough), Boland (Coventry), Kavanagh (Middlesbrough), Savage (Millwall), Launders (Crystal Palace), Perkins (Southend), Turner (Tottenham). Substitute: Scully (Crystal Palace) for Kavanagh, 42.
Referee: J M Encinar (Spain).