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Football European Championship

Austria Stun Netherlands To Top Group D

  • June 25, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Austria Stun Netherlands To Top Group D

Ralf Rangnick’s Austria stunned the Netherlands 3-2 at Berlin’s Olympiastadion on Tuesday, securing top spot in Group D ahead of both France and the Netherlands.

Austria, who entered the match in third place with three points, completed a remarkable turnaround to finish on six points, two ahead of their more fancied opponents. This comes after a 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands just three years ago.

The Dutch gifted Austria a dream start in the sixth minute. Donyell Malen’s attempted sliding tackle turned into an own goal, beating goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen. Frustration was evident on manager Ronald Koeman’s face, with the passionate Dutch fans painting the stadium orange failing to inspire their team.

Malen missed a golden opportunity to equalize shortly after, slicing his shot wide. Koeman responded with a substitution in the 35th minute, bringing on Xavi Simons for Joey Veerman. Austria nearly doubled their lead through Marko Arnautović, but he failed to capitalize on the chance. Notably, the Netherlands failed to register a single shot on target in the first half.

The Dutch came out with renewed purpose in the second half. Two minutes in, Simons found Cody Gakpo with a well-placed pass, and the Liverpool forward fired a shot past the goalkeeper to level the score. This marked the Netherlands’ first shot on target in the entire match. The relief was palpable on Koeman’s face.

Austria wasn’t done yet. In the 59th minute, Romano Schmid, the shortest player on the pitch, restored their lead after a cross from Florian Grillitsch, who earned his first assist of the tournament. This put Austria temporarily in second place, with France leading the group with seven points after Kylian Mbappé’s penalty goal against Poland.

The drama continued in the 76th minute as Memphis Depay equalized for the Netherlands after a header from Wout Weghorst. The goal was initially reviewed by VAR before being awarded.

Just four minutes later, Austria retook the lead through Marcel Sabitzer, who fired a shot from a tight angle inside the box. This goal, coupled with Robert Lewandowski’s penalty for Poland against France, effectively sealed the group win for Austria. Despite needing another comeback, the Netherlands couldn’t find an equalizer and still reached the knockout stages as one of the third best finishers.

This victory marks a historic moment for Austria, their first win over the Netherlands in three decades.

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