Involvement

Austria shock the Netherlands as Poland hold France

Austria put on a show against the Netherlands as they edge them out 3-2 to get the victory and sail to the top of the group D table.

Austria took the lead through ana unfortunate own goal by Donyell Malen. He attempted a sliding tackle to try intercept a pass but ended up inadvertently putting the ball into his own net. Austria took a hold of the game from then as Netherlands found it difficult to play efficiently right up to half-time. After the break, Netherlands came out flying and immediately hit back through Cody Gakpo, the Liverpool man finishing off a swift counter-attacking move. At this point, it seemed like the Netherlands were going to run away with the game as they looked sharper than before, connecting plays and testing the keeper. They had wrestled the game back from Austria. So, it was a surprise when Austria then went 2-1 up.

A nice passing move around the Netherlands penalty area ended with a floated ball to the back post for Romano Schmid to nod home. Against the run of play, they had taken the lead. This is when Koeman, Netherlands coach, called on his trump card from the bench. Wout Weghorst, the Dutch giant, who has developed somewhat of a reputation for having an impact off the bench was substituted in and it didn’t take long for his impact to be felt. A ball was hung in the air for him t attack and he nodded it down onto the path of Memphis Depay who finished it with a plomb. They were level again. Surely now, they were going to win it and retain top spotting their group, right?

Obviously not, because not more than 5minutes later, Austria launched a devastating counterattack with Marcel Sabitzer on the end of it. He took one touch and rifled it in at the near post to the roof of the net.

Austria saw out the game and won 3-2, ascending form 3rd to 1st and comfortably through to the next round.

Elsewhere, it was a game of 2 penalties as Kylian Mbappe and Robert Lewandowski traded spot kicks for their respective teams meaning the game ended France 1-1 Poland. This also meant France could only finish 2nd in the group, having missed the chance to take advantage on the Netherlands slip up. Poland was sent home, but their fans left on a high.

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