Alaba helps Austria to Russia win

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With David Alaba returning to the team, Austria overcame World Cup hosts Russia 1-0 on Wednesday evening. Following an impressive assist from Marco Arnautovic, former Bayern player Alessandro Schöpf scored the only goal for head coach Franco Foda’s team in front of a crowd of 14,500 at Tivoli stadium in Innsbruck. Bayern defender Alaba, who’s recently been plagued with back problems came off the bench in the 58th minute to replace the match-winner.

The 25-year-old’s next challenge will come at 6pm on Saturday in Klagenfurt, when he’ll face several of his Bayern team-mates, including Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller in a friendly against Germany. Following the final whistle against Russia, Alaba was quite clear about the task ahead, saying Austria will have to raise their game to keep pace with the Germans. But he also saw the match as a step forward.

Eight days after playing Germany, Austria will take on Brazil in a 4pm kick-off. Alaba can then head off into the summer break, as the Austrians failed to qualify for the World Cup, which starts in two weeks.

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