22/06/2024 11:23 AM

BERLIN, June 22 (Bernama-Xinhua) -- Christoph Baumgartner and Marko Arnautovic were on target in the second half to secure Austria's first three points with a 3-1 win over Poland while wasteful France couldn't score against uninspired Dutchmen in the second round of the Euro 2024 group stage on Friday.

Austria caught a fairy-tale start at Berlin Olympia stadium after Phililipp Mwene's in-swinging cross found Gernot Trauner, who nodded home the opener with only nine minutes into the clash.

Poland was shocked whereas Austria dominated possession but still Poland restored parity against the flow of the game at the half hour mark when Krzysztof Piatek latched onto a rebound to beat goalkeeper Patrick Pentz.

In the closing stage of the first half, both teams missed chances to grab the lead as Marcel Sabitzer pulled wide from promising position in the 42nd minute before Pentz neutralised Piotr Zielinski's dangerous free kick on target.

After the restart, Austria gradually took over and was rewarded for their efforts midway through the second half as Alexander Prass' square pass allowed Baumgartner to slot home the 2-1 lead from the edge of the area.

Ralf Rangnick's boys were not done with the scoring as Arnautovic sealed the deal after converting a foul play penalty in the 78th minute.

"Everybody is extremely happy. There was a lot of pressure on us. We are relieved, but we know that this is only the start and there are big challenges ahead of us," said Austria midfielder Baumgartner.

In the other Group D encounter, France and the Netherlands shared the spoils following a goalless draw.

Antoine Griezmann squandered two golden opportunities with just goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen to beat whereas Xavi Simons had a goal ruled out.

After the second round, the Netherlands lead Group D, followed by France (both 4 points), Austria (3 points) and already eliminated Poland (0 points).

In Group E, Ukraine returned to winning ways after coming from behind to beat Slovakia 2-1 as Ivan Schranz's second goal of the tournament wasn't enough.

Slovakia played a powerful first half but couldn't hold their narrow lead while Ukraine grew into the game.

Mykola Shaparenko levelled the scores early in the second half before Roman Yaremchuck utilised Shaparenko long ball to net into the empty goal after rounding Slovakia goalkeeper Martin Dubravka for the win.


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