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Low's new Germany comes at a price

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 By Marco Stein

David Alaba fails to fire in Austria's fortunate draw vs. Portugal

A more careful and tactically smarter Austria drew 0-0 against Portugal on Saturday evening in Paris. Marcel Koller's team managed to get a point thanks to some luck, but also because of an outstanding performance from goalkeeper Robert Almer.

Austria took the pitch with a changed starting XI from the 2-0 defeat to Hungary, with Watford's Sebastian Prodl in for the suspended Aleksandar Dragovic, while David Alaba took over the No. 10 role from Zlatko Junuzovic, who was out injured. RB Leipzig's Stefan Ilsanker played next to Julian Baumgartlinger as defensive midfielder, but just like in the match against Hungary, Alaba disappointed, especially with his passing, and was deservedly subbed off in the 65th minute.

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Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):

GK Robert Almer, 9 -- Was the best Austrian player on the pitch. He drove Cristiano Ronaldo crazy with his saves and showed a lot a self-confidence. Denied the Portuguese on many shots, but guessed incorrectly on Ronaldo's penalty; Austria were lucky it hit the post.

DF Florian Klein, 6 -- Like against Hungary, Klein had a decent first half, but as time went on his performance deteriorated. Seemed overextended and tired at the end.

DF Sebastian Prodl, 6 -- Had some problems with Ronaldo & Co. but in the end he did quite well. His never-ending will and spirit were very important for the Austrian team and he managed to stop a few of the Portuguese attacks.

DF Martin Hinteregger, 5 -- Still didn't get back to form and looked quite unfocused. His nervousness caused a lot of chances for the Portuguese, and therefor a lot of trouble for Almer.

DF Christian Fuchs, 6 -- Ricardo Quaresma is not an easy opponent, but Fuchs did well and managed to stop the Besiktas winger more often than expected. Also did well in his offensive duties down the left side.

MF Julian Baumgartlinger, 7 -- Another fantastic performance. He didn't stop running and was the engine of Austria's midfield. By now Baumgartlinger is Austria's man of the tournament. Hopefully he will be again on Wednesday against Iceland's dangerman, Gylfi Sigurdsson.

MF Stefan Ilsanker, 7 -- He replaced Alaba in the defensive midfield and really surprised. Many chances for the Portuguese were prevented by the tall midfielder, who was outstanding in the midfield along with Baumgartlinger.

MF Marcel Sabitzer, 7 -- After a disappointing performance by Martin Harnik against Hungary, the Leipzig winger replaced him and provided a lot of good dribbles with his pace, even though his crosses didn't find a forward.

MF David Alaba, 4 -- Playing as an attacking midfielder, it was probably Alaba's most disappointing performance for Austria. In his new role, Alaba should have had more space, but instead he saw himself in trouble. After just winning 27 percent of his tackles and just 29 touches, the Bayern Munich midfielder was subbed off after an hour.

Alaba surrounded by Portugal
There was hardly any room for David Alaba to operate in attack against Portugal.

MF Marko Arnautovic, 5 -- Had problems getting into the match and hardly showed up. The Portuguese did very well in stopping him. Koller will need to find a way for Arnautovic to be more present in the match against Iceland.

FW Martin Harnik, 5 -- Had a few good chances but didn't score. Made a better performance than against Hungary, but he still lacks shooting accuracy.

Substitutes:

MF Alessandro Schopf, 6 -- Replaced Alaba in the attacking midfield and managed to inject some energy into the side.

FW Lukas Hinterseer, NR -- Came on in the 85th minute.

DF Kevin Wimmer, NR -- Came on in the 86th minute.

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