Euro 2024: Vigorous Austria registers win as Lewandowski's Poland become first team to be eliminated

Euro 2024: Vigorous Austria registers win as Lewandowski's Poland become first team to be eliminated


    Austria's Marko Arnautovic (center) is embraced by teammates after scoring during the Group D match between Poland and Austria at the Euro 2024 football tournament on June 21, 2024 in Berlin, Germany.

Austria's Marko Arnautovic (center) is hugged by teammates after scoring a goal during the Group D match between Poland and Austria at the Euro 2024 football tournament in Berlin, Germany, June 21, 2024. | Photo credit: AP

Austria boosted their hopes of reaching the last 16 at the European Championship by beating Poland 3–1 on 21 June and eliminating them in the group stage.

Gernot Trauner, Christoph Baumgartner and Marko Arnautovic scored for Austria, while Krzysztof Piatek scored the equaliser for Poland in the first half.

Robert Lewandowski, who missed Poland's opener against the Netherlands due to injury, came on in the second half but failed to make an impact and was booked after just five minutes on the field.

“We are disappointed with the result but we still have one more game in our group and we have to do our best and try to win three points,” Lewandowski told Poland's TVP Sport.

Poland's slight chance of remaining in the group stage ended just hours later when the match between the Netherlands and France ended in a 0–0 draw, ensuring that Poland would finish last in Group D with one match remaining.

After losing to France, Austria played aggressively and took the lead within 10 minutes when Trauner converted a header from Philippe Mwene's cross.

The Polish side hit back and equalised just before the half-hour, with Piatek scoring a rebound from close range.

Polish fans erupted in joy when their record goalscorer Lewandowski came off the bench in the 15th minute of the second half to make his Euro 2024 debut and replace Adam Buksa in attack.

However, the captain had a disappointing evening in Berlin. He received a yellow card soon after for a strong challenge on Philipp Lienhart and Austria took the lead two minutes later when Baumgartner picked up a superb pass from Alexander Prass to make it 2-1.

This time Poland did not have the energy to respond.

Arnautovic sealed the win for Austria from the penalty spot after Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny brought down Marcel Sabitzer in the penalty area in the 77th minute.

Baumgartner said the team felt pressure after an opening loss to France, which ended Austria's seven-match unbeaten streak.

“There was a lot of pressure on us, to be honest,” Baumgartner said. “We're really relieved.”

Lewandowski suffered a thigh muscle injury during pre-tournament warmups and was ruled out of Poland's first match at the Euros. He was not in the starting lineup against Austria, but said on Friday that he was fine and “I don't feel any pain at all.”

Coach Michal Probierz said he sent Lewandowski on in an attempt to find momentum with the score at 1-1.

“We wanted to break through the Austrian defence in the second half. It's a pity we couldn't score the winning goal earlier,” Probierz said.

After one loss and one win, Austria will next play against the Netherlands on Tuesday.

France face Poland in the final round of the group stage after two defeats.


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