Prime News Ghana

Euro 2024: Wober own goal hands France slender win over Austria

By primenewsghana
facebook sharing button Share
twitter sharing button Tweet
email sharing button Email
sharethis sharing button Share

France kicked off their UEFA Euro 2024 campaign with a narrow 1-0 victory over Austria in Dusseldorf, as Didier Deschamps’ side continued their impressive unbeaten record in European Championship openers (W7, D3).

Having dropped just two points across a dominant qualification campaign (W7, D1), France travelled to Germany as one of the favourites for the title.

An opening fixture against Ralf Rangnick’s revitalised team looked to be a tricky one on paper, but it was Les Bleus who came flying out the blocks, with Kylian Mbappe seeing a low effort tipped around the post by Patrick Pentz.

Grateful to still be on level terms, Austria gained a foothold in the contest as the first half progressed, and Rangnick’s men spurned a golden opportunity to take the lead when Christoph Baumgartner’s close-range effort was brilliantly thwarted by Mike Maignan.

That miss proved to be costly, with France taking the lead just three minutes later as Mbappe’s delivery into the box was inadvertently glanced into his own net by Maximilian Wober.

Deschamps’ side carried the momentum that goal created into the early stages of the second half and should have doubled their lead within 10 minutes of the restart when Mbappe fluffed his lines from a glorious one-on-one chance.

Undeterred, Les Bleus continued to probe for an all-important second goal, but Pentz stood firm in the Austria goal to deny a sharp effort from Marcus Thuram.

With the match still tantalisingly poised heading into the final quarter-hour, Das Team grew in confidence as they chased an unlikely equaliser.

However, Alexander Prass headed their best opportunity wide of the target as France held firm to secure a hard-fought three points and extend their dominant H2H record to eight wins in the last 11 meetings.

As for Austria, they’ll take plenty of positives into their next group game against Poland, despite losing for the first time since October.