Northern Ireland suffered a 1-0 defeat to Austria in a disappointing start to their Nations League campaign in front of 600 spectators at Windsor Park last night.
Having kept Ian Baraclough's side - fresh from their play-off win over Bosnia - under almost relentless pressure for most of the first half and seeing Christoph Baumgartner spurn two glorious chances, Austria eventually took the lead three minutes before the break.
Alaba set up Martin Hinteregger to bend in a cross from the left and it was all too easy for Michael Gregoritsch to rise up and head home just before half-time to secure victory
Meanwhile, Lyndon Dykes scored his second goal in four internationals as Scotland maintained top spot in Nations League Group B2 with a 1-0 Hampden win over Slovakia.
Dykes converted Stephen O'Donnell's cross in the 54th minute to stay one point ahead of the Czech Republic, who visit Hampden on Wednesday after beating Israel in Haifa.
The victory extended Scotland's unbeaten run to seven matches and there were signs of growing confidence as an attacking force after an uneventful first half.
Elsewhere, France's Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe failed to break down a compact Portuguese defence in their 0-0 draw last night.