Poland 1-3 Austria: Baumgartner and Arnautovic get Rangnick's men up and running

By Sports Desk June 21, 2024

Austria got off the mark at Euro 2024 with a 3-1 victory over Poland, with second-half goals from Christoph Baumgartner and Marko Arnautovic deciding an entertaining contest.

Austria flew out of the traps in Berlin as Poland struggled to get an early foothold, and Ralf Rangnick's team led within nine minutes. Phillipp Mwene delivered a pinpoint cross from the left, and Gernot Trauner powered his header home at the near post.

Poland should have levelled within nine further minutes, only for Nicola Zalewski to lift a wild effort over the crossbar. However, they did get their equaliser on the half-hour mark.

A fortunate deflection off Trauner saw the ball fall to Krzysztof Piatek, who kept his composure to slot into the bottom-right corner and reward Poland's improvement.

Having missed last week's defeat to the Netherlands with a thigh injury, Poland talisman Robert Lewandowski was introduced from the bench on the hour mark, but it was Austria who regained the lead seven minutes later through Baumgartner.

Arnautovic dummied Alexander Prass' ball infield, allowing Baumgartner to send Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way with a composed finish from the edge of the box.

Arnautovic then made the points safe from the penalty spot with 12 minutes remaining, converting into the bottom-right corner after Marcel Sabitzer had raced clear and been felled by Szczesny.

Austria should have had a fourth late on as Konrad Laimer shot across the face of goal after rounding Szczesny, but their victory means avoiding defeat against the Netherlands next Tuesday would likely send them through to the last 16.

Data Debrief: Arnautovic on the spot

At the age of 35 years and 63 days, Arnautovic became the third-oldest player to score a penalty at the Euros, after Ivica Vastic (38 years, 257 days) and Cristiano Ronaldo (three penalties scored at the age of 36).

A surprise inclusion after being benched for Austria's 1-0 loss to France, the Inter man led the line impressively, winning seven of his nine total duels and drawing three fouls.

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