Poland on brink of Euros exit after defeat by Austria

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Screenshot 2024 06 21 192740

Image caption: Trauner’s goal was only his second at international level – the only previous occasion he found the net was against Luxembourg in 2020.

Late goals by Christoph Baumgartner and Marko Arnautovic gave Austria a hard-fought win over Poland and boosted their hopes of reaching the last 16 at Euro 2024.
With both teams losing their opening matches in Group D, to France and the Netherlands, they came to Berlin knowing that another defeat would put them on the brink of elimination.
The high stakes gave the encounter the feel of a knockout tie, with both sets of fans creating a noisy atmosphere at the Olympiastadion, matched by a frenetic tempo on the pitch.

It was Austria who struck first, when Gernot Trauner rose at the near post to head home Phillipp Mwene’s cross.
Poland were struggling to get out of their own half at that point but quickly improved and began pushing for an equaliser.
It arrived after 30 minutes, when a cross from the right was not properly cleared, and although Jan Bednarek’s shot was blocked, Krzysztof Piatek was first to the rebound to fire low into the net.
Clear chances were at a premium after that, even when Poland’s talismanic striker Robert Lewandowski belatedly emerged off the bench, but as the game entered the final stages, it was Austria who found the inspiration they needed.
Arnautovic’s dummy allowed Baumgartner time and space to advance to the edge of the area, before he coolly slotted past Wojciech Szczesny.
Austria’s victory was sealed a few minutes later. With Poland pouring forward in search of an equaliser, Marcel Sabitzer ran clear and although he was brought down by Szczesny, Arnautovic converted the resulting penalty.

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