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HomeSportEuro 2024: Baumgartner, Arnautovic goals help Austria prevail over Lewandowski’s Poland

Euro 2024: Baumgartner, Arnautovic goals help Austria prevail over Lewandowski’s Poland

Berlin, June 22: Second-half goals by Christoph Baumgartner and Marko Arnautovic helped Austria prevail 3-1 over a strong Poland side led by legendary striker Robert Lewandowski in a Group D clash in the UEFA Euro 2024 here on Friday night. Baumgartner’s strike and a penalty converted by Arnautovic was enough for Austria to secure a first win in Euro 2024 which also silenced a huge Polish contingent in Berlin.

Both teams had lost their opening matches — Poland going down to the Netherlands 1-2 and France getting the better of Austria 1-0. With Lewandowski, who had mesmerized Germany for years while representing Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich, starting on the bench, Austria were rewarded for a positive start inside ten minutes. One of the two centre-backs brought into the starting line-up for this game, Gernot Trauner headed Phillipp Mwene’s cross past Wojciech Szczesny at his near post, giving Austria a 1-0 lead, leaving Poland to scrap for a foothold. Nicola Zalewski missed the target from a decent position on 18 minutes, but Poland found their range on the half-hour, Krzysztof Piatek first to a loose ball in the area after Jan Bednarek’s blast was blocked.

Marcel Sabitzer had a couple of decent efforts before the break, and Patrick Pentz saved from a neatly-struck Piotr Zielinski free-kick. However, with both sides needing a win, Poland introduced Lewandowski on the hour as both coaches made extensive second-half reshuffles.

Austria, though, stole the Polish talisman’s thunder, Baumgartner wrong-footing Szczesny with a hit from the edge of the box on 67 minutes. Patrick Wimmer had a chance to finish it but was denied by Szczesny on 75 minutes, yet the keeper then brought down Sabitzer when through on goal, Arnautovic stepping up to convert the resulting penalty. The victory helped Austria maintain their chances of qualifying for the next stage from this Group with top contenders the Netherlands and France in the same group.

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