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Arnautovic scores twice as Austria hold Wales

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Football Soccer - Austria v Wales - 2018 World Cup Qualifying European Zone - Group D - Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna, Austria - 6/10/16 Wales' Chris Gunter applauds fans after the game Reuters / Leonhard Foeger Livepic
Football Soccer - Austria v Wales - 2018 World Cup Qualifying European Zone - Group D - Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna, Austria - 6/10/16 Wales' Chris Gunter applauds fans after the game Reuters / Leonhard Foeger Livepic

VIENNA (Reuters) - Marko Arnautovic scored twice for Austria as they drew 2-2 with Euro 2016 semi-finalists Wales in an eventful Group D World Cup qualifying match in Vienna on Thursday.

The result left both teams with a win and a draw from their opening two games, the same as Ireland and Serbia. Top seeds Wales, ranked 10th in the world, have the best goal difference.

Wales have only ever reached the World Cup finals once before, in 1958, but after their surprise showing in France this summer are expected to qualify for the tournament in Russia.

Joe Allen gave them the lead midway through the first half, volleying in from 20 metres, but his Stoke City team mate Arnautovic equalised six minutes later with a neat downward header from David Alaba's incisive pass.

Wales were ahead again just before the interval with an own goal, the ball bouncing in off defender Kevin Wimmer after a fine save by goalkeeper Robert Almer.

Only three minutes into the second half, however, Arnautovic burst through to score his second following a defensive error.

Although Almer had to be substituted with a leg injury, his replacement Ramazan Ozcan was largely untroubled and manager Chris Coleman's side were happy to hold on for a valuable away point.

Austria play away to Serbia on Sunday, when Wales are at home to Georgia.

(Reporting by Steve Tongue in London; editing by Martyn Herman)


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