Shropshire Star

France off to winning start as Max Wober own goal proves enough against Austria

Kylian Mbappe’s cross was headed into his own net by Leeds defender Wober to give the two-time champions a half-time lead.

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France got off to a winning start at Euro 2024 with a narrow 1-0 victory over stubborn Austria after Max Wober scored a first-half own goal in Dusseldorf.

Austria were inches from taking the lead in the first period through Christoph Baumgartner before Kylian Mbappe’s cross was headed into his own net by Leeds defender Wober to give the two-time champions a half-time lead.

France had chances to extend their lead in the second period through Antoine Griezmann, while Mbappe was still searching for his first European Championship goal after he missed a glorious one-on-one effort but France hung on make a winning start in Group D.

Euro 2024 Soccer Austria France
Mbappe missed a glorious chance to put France 2-0 up (Hassan Ammar/AP)

France posed the first threat of the tie when Mbappe sprinted down the left and unleashed a low effort which needed to be tipped behind by Patrick Pentz.

Austria missed an opportunity to hit the front when a neat combination between Michael Gregoritsch and Marcel Sabitzer put Baumgartner through on goal but he saw his strike magnificently saved by the feet of Mike Maignan.

Austria should have had a corner from Maignan’s save but France went down the other end and took the lead less than two minutes later.

Mbappe switched to the right and instantly made an impact as he bamboozled Phillipp Mwene from a standing start and sent a ball into the box which Wober nodded into his own net.

France had a golden opportunity to double their lead in the 56th minute as Mbappe raced through one-on-one with Pentz but curled his effort wide when it looked easier to score.

APTOPIX Euro 2024 Soccer Austria France
Mbappe was forced off late on with an injury to his nose (Martin Meissner/AP)

France started to turn up the heat in search for a second goal, Theo Hernandez raced clear and sent a fizzing cross into the box, leaving Griezmann just inches away from tapping the ball into an empty net.

With time ticking down, France missed another chance to double their lead when Marcus Thuram aimed straight at Pentz from inside the box which left the door open for Austria with 10 minutes to go.

The match ended with a cause for concern for France fans who saw talisman Mbappe replaced late on after suffering a nose injury following a collision, but the nevertheless picked up their first three points of the competition.

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