Poland, with a score of 1-3 against Austria, is the first to be eliminated in Group D of Euro 2024.

Robert Lewandowski returned from injury but failed to help Poland escape a 1-3 loss to Austria, resulting in an early exit from Euro 2024.

Poland, with a score of 1-3 against Austria, is the first to be eliminated in Group D of Euro 2024.

On the Olympiastadion field on the night of June 21, both Poland and Austria were thirsting for victory to cling to hopes for the round of 16. In their opening matches, Poland lost 1-2 to the Netherlands, while Switzerland lost 1-0 to France. This was also a balanced match-up: Austria, ranked 25th by FIFA, is just one step ahead of Poland. These two traditionally red-and-white teams have only met once in a major tournament before, with a 1-1 draw in the group stage of Euro 2008.

Compared to the first round, both sides changed three positions and all left their marks. Poland used Pawel Dawidowicz, Jakub Piotrowski, Krzysztof Piatek to replace Kacper Urbanski, Sebastian Szymanski, Bartosz Salamon (injured). On the Austrian side, coach Ralf Rangnick replaced centre-back duo Kevin Danso and Maximilian Wober – the own-goal scorer against France – with Gernot Trauner and Philipp Lienhart, and also started veteran striker Marko Arnautovic, 35, in place of Michael Gregoritsch.

In the stands, Polish fans set off flares, causing the match to start in a haze of white smoke. But on the field, Austria started better and pushed the pace of the match, causing the Polish players to be disoriented.

In the 9th minute, after a throw-in on the left, Phillipp Mwene got the ball back and flicked it past Przemyslaw Frankowski. The Austrian defender crossed into the box, allowing Gernot Trauner to head in the opening goal at the near post. This was Austria’s earliest goal in the history of the Euros, and the earliest in any major tournament since the 1954 World Cup – when they scored two goals against Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia) in the first four minutes.

From this point, Poland woke up and began to create opportunities. In the 18th minute, Frankowski cut across the box, bypassing a series of players to the far post, but Nicola Zalewski’s placed shot was wide in an open situation. Outside the field, the camera repeatedly captured the face of Lewandowski, who was seen at least twice exchanging words with the assistant coaches.

Poland’s pressure finally paid off in the 30th minute. Inside the penalty area on the left, Jakub Kiwior controlled the ball with his thigh and passed it to Jan Bednarek, whose close-range shot hit Trauner. Piatek was in the right place to control the ball, push it past the defender and shoot from 6 meters into the low right corner to equalize the game.

The last 15 minutes of the first half and the first 15 minutes of the second half were a tug-of-war. The highlight was Marcel Sabitzer’s long-range shot that missed the post in the 42nd minute, or Piotr Zielinski’s 26-meter free-kick in the first injury time minute that was saved by goalkeeper Patrick Pentz.

In the 60th minute, coach Michal Probiez decided to send Lewandowski and Karol Swiderski onto the field to replace Piatek and Buksa – the two goal scorers for Poland in this Euro. Four minutes later, Lewy received a yellow card after a foul in an aerial duel with Lienhart, his only mark of the match. Afterwards, Austria completely dominated the game.

Coach Ragnick continued to show impressive personnel adjustments when he replaced left-back Mwene with Alexander Prass in the 63rd minute. Four minutes later, Prass delivered a low cross from the left into the middle for Arnautovic to flick the ball, surprising the entire Polish defense. Christoph Baumgartner received the ball cleanly and placed it into the right corner to fool Wojciech Szczesny and give Austria the lead for the second time.

The more hurried Poland became, the more composed Austria was. In the 77th minute, goalkeeper Patrick Pentz kicked the ball from his own penalty area and it skimmed the head of a Polish defender. Jan Bednarek hesitated in approaching, allowing Sabitzer to steal the ball and sprint into the penalty area. In a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, the former Manchester United midfielder pushed the ball to the left, was fouled, and won a penalty. From the spot, Arnautovic coolly shot into the low right corner to fool Szczesny.

The remaining minutes saw Poland lose their spirit. Austria could have won by a larger margin if Stefan Posch’s long shot in the 83rd minute hadn’t been brilliantly saved by Szczesny. Two minutes later, Austrian players coordinated a triangle in the middle of the pitch and passed into the penalty area. Konrad Laimer dribbled past the goalkeeper, but his shot in front of an open goal from a rather tight angle missed the post.

But a 3-1 victory was enough for the Austrian team and fans to celebrate. In the last round, they only need to get one more point against the Netherlands to have four points and a goal difference of +1 – ideal numbers to be at least among the top four third-placed teams with the best performance.

On the contrary, with France drawing 0-0 with the Netherlands in the later match, Poland is surely out of the running. They are four points behind the above two teams, three points and head-to-head goal difference less than Austria.

Starting lineups

Poland: Wojciech Szczesny, Jan Bednarek, Pawel Dawidowicz, Jakub Kiwior, Przemyslaw Frankowski, Piotr Zielinski, Bartosz Slisz, Jakub Piotrowski, Nicola Zalewski, Krzysztof Piatek, Adam Buksa

Austria: Patrick Pentz, Stefan Posch, Gernot Trauner, Philipp Lienhart, Phillipp Mwene, Nicolas Seiwald, Florian Grillitsch, Christoph Baumgartner, Konrad Laimer, Marcel Sabitzer, Marko Arnautovic.

⚽️ UEFA Euro 1960 to 2021 with 16 tournaments and 10 national champions

⏩ Germany won the Euro 3 times (1972 – 1980 – 1996)

⏩ Spain won the Euro 3 times (1964 – 2008 – 2012)

⏩ France won the Euro 2 times (1984 – 2000)

⏩ Italy won the Euro 2 times (1968 – 2020)

⏩ Soviet Union won the Euro once in 1960

⏩ Czechoslovakia won the Euro once in 1976

⏩ Netherlands won the Euro once in 1988

⏩ Denmark won the Euro once in 1992

⏩ Greece won the Euro once in 2004

⏩ Portugal won the Euro once in 2016

With the participation of the strongest European teams according to the FIFA ranking on February 15, 2024 such as France (2nd) – England (3rd) – Belgium (4th) – Netherlands (6th) – Portugal (7th) – Spain (8th) – Italy (9th) – Croatia (10th) and bright stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé, Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku to promising young talents, Euro 2024 promises to deliver top-level and dramatic matches.

EURO 2024 will take place in Germany from June 14 to July 14, 2024 in 10 cities in Germany with 24 participating teams. The teams are divided into 6 groups to select the first and second teams in each group, and the 4 third-placed teams with the best performance to get a ticket to the knock-out round. The opening match is scheduled for June 14 between host Germany and Scotland.

⚽️ Detailed EURO 2024 match groups:

⚽️ Group A: Germany, Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland

⚽️ Group B: Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania

⚽️ Group C: England, Denmark, Serbia, Slovenia

⚽️ Group D: Poland, France, Netherlands, Austria

⚽️ Group E: Slovakia, Romania, Belgium, Ukraine

⚽️ Group F: Portugal, Turkey, Czech Republic, Georgia

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