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Euro 2024: France 1-0 Austria

France started their Group D campaign with a win but were made to work hard by a strong Austria in Düsseldorf.

Kylian Mbappe set up the only goal when he produced a blistering pace before his cross from the byline was headed into his own net by defender Max Wober seven minutes before the break.

Cristoph Baumgartner was strongly denied by the French goalkeeper Mike Maignan and Mbappe shot to finish when he was waiting for his first goal in the European Championship.

The French captain left the field early after a nasty clash of heads that left him with a broken nose but France held on to join the Netherlands with three points in the group.

Ralf Rangnick’s Austria have lost just one of their last 16 games and made life difficult for Didier Deschamps’ side with a performance full of energy and determination.

The 2018 world champions got off to a good start and within minutes Mbappe burst down the left flank before firing a low shot that goalkeeper Patrick Pentz turned into his own post near the side netting.

Marcus Thuram shot past Theo Hernandez on the left side of the area on 13 minutes but his low shot went over the bar untouched.

Wober got in the book when he threw a foul on Ousmane Dembele on the right flank and then gave the ball away allowing Antoine Griezmann to drive forward before recovering to block a shot behind.

Austria rose to the occasion and took part in the French half which resulted in Konrad Laimer’s first attempt from a corner which was gathered at his near post by Maignan before Phillipp Mweme had another chance booked on Dembele on 33 minutes.

Maignan helps celebrate

Baumgartner came close to equalizing after Florian Grillitsch’s curling ball from the left was brought down by Marcel Sabitzer, leaving Baumgarter with only Maignan to beat, although the Milan keeper got down and deflected the ball into the ground and past the post, although the Austrians were furious that a corner had not been awarded. .

They were further aggrieved when the back was broken two minutes later at the other end when Mbappe took a curling ball from the right and produced a sublime moment of guile and strength to pass Mweme on the line before firing the cross. Wober could see over his head and inside the far post.

Pentzy came off his line to pounce on the ball at Mbappe’s feet after he had broken the Austrian offside trap in added time but after the break Austria went back on the attack and Stefan Posch fired over from 25 yards.

After almost five games without a goal at the Euros, Mbappe went past Wober to connect in an open area and focused on goal to curl the ball inches past the far post just before the hour mark.

France were almost made to pay as Sabitzer went down in the box under pressure from Dayot Upamecano, only for his penalty appeals to be waved away.

Dembele cut in but scored when Hernandez flashed another low left cross across the face of goal with Griezmann unable to slide in and get a vital touch, while Jules Kounde’s follow-up was blocked.

Pentz left a strike angle from Thuram as France’s pressure mounted and the Frenchman blazed higher and higher after quick feet helped him into the left side of the area.

On the other hand, Baumgartner was denied by a sliding Maignan and received a warning for his attempts to win the ball in the box and Laimer also entered the book because of the hand that appears to be in Mbappe’s face.

Thuram could have fired straight at the near post after Eduardo Camavinga was cut down in the closing stages but N’Golo Kante needed to be alert to stop the break from Austria’s Patrick Wimmer.

Mbappe needed treatment on his nose after a clash of heads in the break and after his departure Olivier Giroud missed his spot-kick when he was well placed in stoppage time.

France managed to pull off an upset to book their Friday night clash with the Netherlands, while Austria face Poland at 5pm BST on the same day as they look to get out of Group D.

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