Match Report: France 1-0 Austria - Euro 2024

In a closely contested Euro 2024 Group D match, France narrowly defeated Austria 1-0 thanks to an own goal by Maximilian Wöber. The game at the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Düsseldorf saw France's defence shine as they held off Austria's high pressing and numerous attacking efforts.

Match Report: France 1-0 Austria - Euro 2024

In a tense and hard-fought encounter at the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Düsseldorf, France edged out Austria 1-0 in their Euro 2024 Group D clash, courtesy of a first-half own goal by Maximilian Wöber.

Key Moments

  • Opening Exchanges: Both teams started cautiously, with Austria trying to press high and disrupt France's rhythm. The early stages saw few clear-cut chances as both defences held firm.
  • Own Goal: The decisive moment came in the 38th minute when Kylian Mbappé's dangerous cross into the box led to an own goal by Austria's Maximilian Wöber, who inadvertently turned the ball into his own net while attempting to clear it.
  • Second Half: Austria pushed for an equalizer in the second half, making several attacking substitutions, including the introduction of Marko Arnautovic and Patrick Wimmer. However, France's defence, marshalled by Dayot Upamecano and William Saliba, remained resolute.
  • Missed Chances: Late in the game, Kylian Mbappé had a golden opportunity to double France's lead but missed a breakaway shot. Despite this, France managed to hold on to its slender lead.

Player Performances

  • Kylian Mbappé: Although he was involved in creating the own goal, Mbappé's performance was a mix of brilliance and missed opportunities, highlighted by his failure to convert a late chance.
  • Ngolo Kante: He added energy and control to the French midfield, helping them maintain their lead under pressure.
  • Austrian Efforts: Austria's Florian Grillitsch and Christoph Baumgartner tried to drive their team forward but could not break France's well-organized defence.

Tactical Insights

France's pragmatic approach focused on defensive solidity and exploiting quick transitions. Despite their efforts to press and control the game, Austria lacked the cutting edge in the final third to truly trouble the French backline.

France's Defense: The French defence was a standout feature of the match. With Dayot Upamecano and William Saliba forming a solid partnership at the back, France effectively neutralised Austria's attacking threats. Upamecano's interceptions and Saliba's aerial dominance were crucial in maintaining the clean sheet.

Midfield Battle: The midfield battle was intense, with N'Golo Kanté and Adrien Rabiot providing stability and control for France. Kanté, in particular, was instrumental in breaking up Austria's play and launching counter-attacks. His energy and positioning were vital in disrupting Austria's rhythm.

Austrian Pressing: Austria's high-pressing game caused some discomfort for France, particularly in the first half. Marcel Sabitzer and Konrad Laimer worked tirelessly to close down spaces and force errors. However, despite their efforts, they could not capitalize on their created turnovers.

Substitutions Impact: Both sides made a flurry of substitutions in the second half. Eduardo Camavinga and Randal Kolo Muani injected fresh legs and energy into the team for France. Camavinga's ability to retain possession and Kolo Muani's pace provided France with additional outlets in attack. Austria's substitutions, including the introduction of Marko Arnautovic and Patrick Wimmer, aimed to bolster their offensive options but failed to break through France's defence.

Post-Match Comments

French coach Didier Deschamps praised his team's resilience and defensive discipline, noting the importance of securing three points in a tournament opener. "We knew Austria would press high and make it difficult for us, but the team showed great composure and discipline," Deschamps commented. "Our defence was outstanding, and we took our chance when it came".

Austrian manager Ralf Rangnick expressed disappointment but remained hopeful for the upcoming matches, emphasizing the need to improve finishing and capitalize on opportunities. "We had our moments, but we need to be more clinical in front of goal. It's a tough loss, but we will learn from it and return stronger," Rangnick said.

Looking Ahead

This result sets France up well in Group D, providing them with a solid foundation to build upon as they aim to progress deep into the tournament. Their next challenge will be against a resilient Croatian side, which promises to be another stern test of their credentials.

On the other hand, Austria will need to regroup and aim for better outcomes in their next fixtures to stay in contention for the knockout stages. Their next match against Switzerland will be crucial in determining their fate in the tournament.