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UEFA European Championship

Kylian Mbappe led France beat Austria 1-0 to kick off Euro 2024 campaign

Published at :June 18, 2024 at 3:07 AM
Modified at :June 18, 2024 at 4:06 AM
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Ajay Gandhar

N’Golo Kante was named man of the match.

France began their UEFA Euro 2024 campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Austria in Düsseldorf on Tuesday night. The reigning World Cup champions had to work hard against a determined and well-organized Austrian side before claiming all three points.

The first half was an even affair, with both teams creating decent chances. Austria’s Christoph Baumgartner went closest for the underdogs, but his effort from a clever ball over the top was well saved by France goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

It was France who finally broke the deadlock just before half-time through an unfortunate Maximilian Wöber own goal. Kylian Mbappé did brilliantly down the right, skipping past Phillipp Mwene, before pulling the ball back across goal where Wöber’s attempted headed clearance looped over his own goalkeeper.

Also read: Top five best footballers from Austria in the world currently

Austria came in all guns blazing in the second half, pressing France intensely and creating some promising situations. But Les Bleus’ defense, marshalled superbly by the excellent William Saliba and Dayot Upamecano, held firm.

At the other end, Randal Kolo Muani and Marcus Thuram both went close to extending France’s lead as the game opened up later on. However, Mbappé missed a glorious one-on-one chance, dragging his shot just wide of the post.

In the end, Didier Deschamps’ side had to settle for a 1-0 victory, thanks in large part to a colossal performance from the indefatigable N’Golo Kante in midfield. The diminutive dynamo was named player of the match after an all-action display, breaking up play and providing the platform for France’s attacking talents.

For Austria, it was a spirited showing that augurs well for their remaining group games against Poland and the Netherlands. Ralf Rangnick’s high-energy approach caused France problems at times and they will feel they deserved something from an excellent all-round display.

France found a way to bank an important opening win, even if they were not at their free-flowing best. Deschamps will know there is still room for improvement from his star-studded side as they bid to add the Euro 2024 title to their 2018 World Cup triumph.

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