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Austria still mum on number-one goalkeeper

sports Updated: Jun 04, 2008 17:51 IST
AFP
Euro

Austria coach Josef Hickersberger will not announce his number-one goalkeeper on Wednesday as planned, the Austrian football federation (OeFB) said, without giving a reason.

The federation did not say when the announcement would be made.

Hickersberger, who started rotating his goalkeepers in early 2007, was scheduled to announce who would don the number-one shirt at a press conference on Wednesday around noon.

The two candidates for the job are Alexander Manninger, who plays for Italian side Sienna and Juergen Macho, from Greek side AEK Athens.

Manninger, who turns 31 on Wednesday, has 27 caps with the national team, letting in 34 goals, while Macho, 30, has scored 15 international caps since 2002, allowing in 12 goals.

Both players also took part in Austria's pre-tournament friendlies, Macho against Nigeria and Manninger against Malta.

A third candidate, Helge Payer of Rapid Vienna, had to drop out of the tournament due to a health problem.

His replacement, Ramazan Ozcan, is new to the squad and will act as number-three goalie.

Three days before the start of the tournament, Austria is the only team not to have announced its number-one goalkeeper.

Hickersberger's men will meet Croatia in its first Group B match on June 8 in Vienna, followed by Poland and Germany on June 12 and 16, also in Vienna.