UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier
Austria 3-2 Scotland
Gregoritisch 8, Weimann 74, Holzhauser 90+1; Watt 53, Russell 73.
Scotland Under-21s missed out on a place at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs after suffering a cruel 3-2 defeat in Austria tonight.
Despite finishing second in Group 10, their points total of 13 was not enough to see them progress to the next stage of the competition.
Billy Stark’s men went in 1-0 down at half time but roared back in the second half, with Tony Watt and Johnny Russell scoring to put the Scots 2-1 up with 17 minutes remaining.
But it was heartache just 60 seconds after Russell scored his first under-21 goal to put Scotland in front when Andreas Weimann levelled for the Austrians.
Holzhauser then grabbed the winner in injury time as the Scots piled forward in search of a winner.
Scotland knew only a win would do tonight and set out in an attacking formation with Russell and Stuart Armstrong supporting Watt in attack.
But they made the worst possible start after eight minutes when Marco Meilinger crossed from the right and found the head of Gregoritisch who looped a header over goalkeeper Jordan Archer.
Weimann almost doubled the Austrian’s advantage when he got on the end of a set piece on 25 minutes but his clipped shot found Archer’s side netting.
Austria continued to probe at the Scotland defence with Meilinger looking particularly menacing on the right.
Stark’s side worked hard to find a way back into the match and created two good chances after half an hour.
The hard-working Armstrong found Hibs midfielder David Wotherspoon with a cross from the left but his headed pass could not find the waiting Watt on the six-yard line.
Moments later, the Celtic forward drilled in a low cross which flew behind the on-rushing Russell as Austria held on to their lead.
Russell had another chance five minutes later after good play from Paul Hanlon on the left allowed him to slip in a low pass but the Dundee United forward could not divert the ball past Siebenhandl.
Austria had a golden opportunity to put themselves two up just minutes before half time.
Weimann found room behind the Scotland rear-guard and had to time pick out the unmarked Schwab on the penalty spot but the midfielder sliced his shot wide.
Scotland came flying out the traps at the start of the second half as they tried to battle their way back into the game.
Scott Allan saw an effort from 25 yards whistle past the post and good link up play between Russell and Armstrong almost resulted in an equaliser.
The break through came on 53 minutes when Liverpool defender Danny Wilson chipped a free-kick into the box and Watt dinked his header over the Austrian goalkeeper.
Scotland began to dominate and on 73 minutes, they were in front thanks to Russell, who tapped in from close range.
However, elation turned to devastation just 60 seconds later when Andreas Weimann capitalised on some sloppy defending to nod home Austria’s equaliser.
With time running out, Scotland pushed forward in search of the winning goal but were caught on the counter-attack in the first minute of injury time as substitute Holzhauser slotted past Archer from just inside the penalty area.
The goal ended Scotland’s unbeaten run in Group 10 and their chances of reaching Israel 2013.
Scotland: Archer, Jack, Hanlon (captain), Wilson, Perry, Kelly, Armstrong (Wylde 82), Allan (Pawlett 59), Watt, Russell, Wotherspoon.
Subs not used: Bain, Toshney, Shinnie, McLean, McCabe, Pawlett, Wylde.
Austria: Siebenhandl, Dibon (captain), Meilinger, Weimann, Schwab, Gregortisch, Wimmer, Grozurek, Prietl, Klem, Sollbauer.
Subs: Riegler, Mally, Kainz, Holzhauser, Wernitznig, Sabitzer, Ritzmaier.