Arnautovic proud of captaining Austria to win over Northern Ireland

Marko Arnautovic beamed with pride after leading Austria to victory, saying: "It means a lot for me to be captain."

Marko Arnautovic reacts after scoring against Northern Ireland on Friday.   -  AFP

Marko Arnautovic expressed his pride after captaining Austria to a 1-0 Nations League victory over Northern Ireland in which he scored the winning goal.

The West Ham forward skippered his country in the absence of Julian Baumgartlinger and raised the armband in celebration after his low shot beat Bailey Peacock-Farrell in the 71st-minute.

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Franco Foda's side faces Group B3 leader Bosnia-Herzegovina at home and Northern Ireland away in its next Nations League games and Arnautovic has his eyes on top spot.

"It was a very good performance," he told Sky Sports.

"We dominated for 90 minutes, [Northern Ireland] had one chance from a set-piece. We had a lot of chances and maybe we can finish better.

"We didn't, but at the end of the day we won and it was a very good performance from us.

"I didn't think a lot when I got the ball, I just always try to do my best. Thankfully it went in.

"It means a lot for me to be captain, to lead the team to victory. It's another three points and we keep going.

"We [will] try to win against Bosnia at home and Northern Ireland away and we can still win the group.

"These will be hard games but now we have three points we can celebrate. We're looking forward to November."

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill felt his players lacked protection from referee Georgi Kabakov after he included some inexperienced players.

Norwich City's Jamal Lewis, 20, played at left-back, while Leeds United's 21-year-old goalkeeper Peacock-Farrell made two good second-half saves for the visitor.

Asked to reflect on how his players are progressing at international level, he said: "I'm not concerned about the group. We just have to learn to compete at this level.

"We had young players, Jamal Lewis and Bailey out of the Under-21s.

"We won't get hung up on where we are [in the Nations League standings]. These are the places you have to come and try and get points if you're going to qualify for Euro 2020."

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