• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Euro 2024: France edge Austria as Mbappe suffers broken nose

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Kylian Mbappe provided a crucial assist as France’s Euro 2024 campaign began with a narrow 1-0 victory over Austria in Dusseldorf. Despite the win, the game was marred by Mbappe suffering a broken nose.

Maximilian Woeber’s own goal, resulting from a cutback by Mbappe, secured the victory for France seven minutes before halftime. Austria, greatly improved under coach Ralf Rangnick, proved to be a challenging opponent for the 2022 World Cup runners-up.

Mbappe was forced to leave the field near the end after a collision with Kevin Danso, which sources later confirmed resulted in a broken nose.

Before his injury, Mbappe missed a significant chance to extend France’s lead. Reflecting on the match, France coach Didier Deschamps commented, “We had the chance to put the game to bed and it is true that we could have been more precise in attack, but it’s very good to start with a victory. It is a good habit to have and we need to try to keep it.”

France will be relieved with the win, especially given the build-up to the game had been overshadowed by political discussions in France. The team managed to stay focused, earning three points to sit level in Group D with the Netherlands, who defeated Poland 2-1.

Next, France will face the Netherlands in Leipzig on Friday, while Austria will play against Poland in Berlin on the same day.

Austria’s coach, Ralf Rangnick, expressed pride in his team’s performance despite the defeat, stating, “We are disappointed with the result. No France player scored against us in 100 minutes, just a very unfortunate own goal. I think Didier Deschamps was really happy when the final whistle came which shows how well my team played.”

Austria entered the tournament on a seven-game unbeaten streak, with many of their players familiar with the German setting, as eight of their starting lineup play in the Bundesliga.