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Drone Delays Kickoff In Austria’s World Cup Qualifier

Austria’s UEFA World Cup qualifier against Moldova started late because of a nuisance in the sky.

Concacaf may be home to the most unusual of shenanigans in World Cup qualifying, but it definitely doesn’t have a monopoly. On Wednesday, the kickoff of a UEFA World Cup qualifier was delayed because of a drone buzzing around above the pitch.

Austria’s visit to Moldova began about 15 minutes late because of the drone, but it didn’t stop the Austrians from securing a 2-0 victory over one of two Group F minnows. 

Just before kickoff, a drone swooped toward the pitch, prompting the referee to send the players to the locker room as a safety measure. Eventually, the issue was dealt with and the match was allowed to begin.

Christoph Baumgartner scored the game’s first goal with low, first-time drive from about 22 yards out just before halftime. Marko Arnautović supplied the finisher with a deft finish in stoppage time.

Austria now has seven points in World Cup qualifying, but both wins came over the two worst teams in the group: Moldova and Faroe Islands. Nonetheless, the Austrians moved up to third place in Group F, behind Israel on goal difference and two points ahead of Scotland. The top team in each group books a trip to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, while the second-place finishers move on to a second round for further qualifying. 

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