Euro round-up: Austria earns victory, Ukraine back on track, Mbappe missed

June 22, 2024 - 10:13
Austria know that a win in their final game versus the Dutch next Tuesday will be enough to send them to the last 16 while Group D big dogs France and the Netherlands are still in pole positions to qualify.

Austria earn victory against Poland

Poland's goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny fouls Austria's Marcel Sabitzer during a Group D match between Poland and Austria at the Euro 2024 tournament. AFP/VNA Photo

Goals from Christoph Baumgartner and Marko Arnautovic in the second half gave Austria a crucial win over Poland in Berlin, keeping alive their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of Euro 2024.

After an opening game defeat against France, three points was their minimum target to stay in the competition.

They started well when on nine minutes Gernot Trauner headed home Phillipp Mwene's cross.

Poland, with injured superstar Robert Lewandowski still only on the bench due to injury, needed to find goals from elsewhere.

And 20 minutes after going behind they did just that.

Krzysztof Piatek fired into the back of the net to score his first international goal since November 2022 after Austria failed to clear a corner.

With the scores still level on the hour mark, Lewandowski did make an appearance but it was Austria who took the lead.

After a clever dummy from captain Marko Arnautovic the ball reached Christoph Baumgartner who took a neat touch and slotted past Wojciech Szczesny.

Arnautovic added a third himself from the penalty spot after 78 minutes sending Szczesny the wrong way after the goalkeeper had brought down Marcel Sabitzer.

In the second half, Austria regained the lead in the 67th minute when Arnautovic skillfully put the ball into the net.

Austrian captain Arnautovic sealed the victory with a late penalty after Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny brought down Marcel Sabitzer.

Austria know that a win in their final game versus the Dutch next Tuesday will be enough to send them to the last 16.

Ukraine fought back to beat Slovakia

Substitute Roman Yaremchuk was the hero for Ukraine as his goal just 12 minutes after his introduction sealed a vital victory over Slovakia in Düsseldorf.

After the break, Ukraine found a way back into the game in the 54th minute with their first goal of Euro 2024.

Mykola Shaparenko ended a good Ukraine move, with the central midfielder meeting Oleksandr Zinchenko’s pass with a neat finish past Martin Dubravka.

The match-winning strike came 10 minutes from the final whistle. This time Shaparenko turned provider and with a long ball over the top.

Dubravka was in two minds and his indecision allowed the Ukrainian substitute Yaremchuk to expertly control the ball and find the back of the net.

This win has set Ukraine up to possible come back from their opening-match defeat to Romania and qualify for the last 16.

France and Netherlands play out a goalless draw

Xavi Simons waits for the referee to check VAR in the match between Netherlands and France. AFP/VNA Photo

Group D big dogs France and the Netherlands played out the first goalless draw of Euro 2024.

After breaking his nose in the first match, star man Kylian Mbappe could only manage a place on the bench for France and a cautious Didier Deschamps decided not to bring on his top striker.

And his absence was clearly missed with France struggling upfront and failing to find the net.

It was the Dutch who will feel most aggrieved after seeing a debatable Xavi Simons goal ruled out by VAR in the second half.

Just as it appeared France were taking control, the Netherlands thought they had taken the lead.

Liverpool's Cody Gakpo, who scored in their opener against Poland, fed Memphis Depay, whose shot was saved by Mike Maignan.

Simons sent the rebound into the net but the flag was raised by the assistant referee due to Denzel Dumfries being stood to the side of Maignan, believing he had impeded the goalkeeper.

After a lengthy VAR check the goal was disallowed.

The draw means both teams are still in pole positions to qualify, but both will know they must play better to stand any chance of winning the tournament.

And for France to do that, they need Mbappe back as quick as possible. VNS