2024 Euros: France earn hard fought win over Austria

Source The Ghana Report

Kylian Mbappe produced a moment of magic – mixed with good fortune – to ensure France’s Euro 2024 campaign got off to a winning start against a stubborn Austria in Dusseldorf.

But he was also at the centre of a late injury scare.

France’s captain and Real Madrid’s latest “Galactico” was replaced in the 90th minute as an eventful night ended with him covered in blood following a painful blow to his nose after an aerial clash with Austria defender Kevin Danso.

Mbappe also picked up a yellow card for returning to the field before falling to the ground, then going off.

He had a mixed night with his finishing but still delivered a decisive contribution to seal three important points against Ralf Rangnick’s well-drilled Austrian side.

The 25-year-old showed lightning pace and fast footwork to leave Austria full-back Phillipp Mwene in his wake before his cross was diverted into his own net by Leeds United centre-back Max Wober’s header seven minutes before half-time.

Max Wober scores own goal against France Photo Courtesy: AP

Austria missed their best chance just moments earlier when Christoph Baumgartner’s shot from close range was blocked by the feet of France keeper Mike Maignan. Their frustration was further increased by Spanish referee Jesus Gil Manzano’s poor decision to award a goal kick rather than a corner.

Kylian Mbappe suffered a bloodied nose Photo Courtesy: Reuters

Mbappe, who saw a first-half shot well saved by Austria keeper Patrick Pentz, produced an early contender for the miss of Euro 2024 after the break when he showed astonishing pace to race past Wober but, with the goal at his mercy, he held his head in disbelief after shooting wide.

Kylian Mbappe suffered a bloodied nose Photo Courtesy: Reuters

France were not at their best but, with veteran N’Golo Kante producing a magnificent individual performance after two years away from the international stage, they did enough to get past a determined Austria and set the platform for the key Group D game against old rivals the Netherlands on Friday.

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