France battle past Austria but Mbappe suffers facial injury

June 18, 2024 10:51 am

[Source: Reuters]

France overcame the potentially difficult hurdle of an in-form Austria without too many scares as they got their Euro 2024 campaign up and running with a 1-0 victory courtesy of an own goal.

Austria, with one defeat in their last 16 matches, stood their ground and went close through Christoph Baumgartner after 37 minutes but a minute later France struck when a brilliant piece of wing play by Kylian Mbappe took him to the byline and his cross was deflected into his own net by the head of Max Wober.

Mbappe, who has never scored a European Championship goal, looked certain to break that duck after 55 minutes but shot wide when clean through and, though Marcus Thuram and Ousmane Dembele also went close, the 2022 World Cup runners-up could not find a second and had to endure a few defensive scares before clinching the win.

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France next face the Netherlands, who also have three points after beating Poland 2-1 in the opening Group D game on Sunday.