Euro 2024: France rides on Wober’s own goal to edge 1-0 win against Austria

The only goal of the match came in the 38th minute when Maximilian Wober guided Kylian Mbappe’s cross from the right flank into his own net to gift the lead to the Les Blues.

Published : Jun 18, 2024 02:27 IST , DUESSELDORF - 3 MINS READ

France’s Kylian Mbappe and teammates celebrate their first goal, an own goal scored by Austria’s Maximilian Wober.
France’s Kylian Mbappe and teammates celebrate their first goal, an own goal scored by Austria’s Maximilian Wober. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

France’s Kylian Mbappe and teammates celebrate their first goal, an own goal scored by Austria’s Maximilian Wober. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Maximilian Wober’s own goal was enough to give France a winning start to its Euro 2024 campaign on Monday as it edged Austria 1-0 in its opening game, but Kylian Mbappe came off late on with a bloodied nose.

Wober diverted Mbappe’s cutback into his own net seven minutes before half-time in Duesseldorf to allow the French, one of the leading contenders to win the tournament, to come through a stiff test.

Austria has been much-improved under Ralf Rangnick and its pressing game often made life uncomfortable for the 2022 World Cup runner-up, who saw Mbappe leave the field near the end after being hurt in a collision.

He had earlier failed to convert a glorious chance that would have allowed France to win by a wider margin.

While Les Bleus were not at their best, they will be relieved to have emerged victorious from the game after a build-up overshadowed by talk of politics rather than football.

ALSO READ | Why was Kylian Mbappe subbed off? Injury scare in France’s win over Austria

The result leaves Didier Deschamps’ team level on three points in Group D with the Netherlands, who defeated Poland 2-1 in Hamburg on Sunday.

France and the Netherlands meet next in Leipzig on Friday, while Austria faces Poland earlier the same day in Berlin.

Austria had enjoyed some impressive results coming into the tournament on a seven-game unbeaten run and the team is on familiar ground during these Euros -- its coach Rangnick is from Germany and eight of its starting line-up played in the German Bundesliga last season.

Difficult night for Mbappe

The French, however, are arguably the most talented team at the tournament, led by their captain Mbappe.

He endured a miserable time at his only previous Euros three years ago, failing to score and missing the decisive penalty in a shoot-out defeat by Switzerland in the last 16.

The new Real Madrid signing will wonder how he did not score in this game, with his first big opportunity arriving inside eight minutes. Antoine Griezmann and Theo Hernandez combined to release Mbappe, who cut in from the left as he loves to do and shaped to curl a shot into the far corner before instead aiming for the near post.

However, Austria goalkeeper Patrick Pentz was able to make the save. The Austrians settled into the contest and passed up a wonderful chance of their own to go ahead on 36 minutes.

Skipper Marcel Sabitzer touched down a Michael Gregoritsch cross from the left for Christoph Baumgartner, but he was foiled by goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

That proved crucial as France went ahead two minutes later.


Ousmane Dembele gave the ball to Mbappe on the right, and he produced a stepover to get to the byline before his cutback was nodded into the far corner of his own net by the unfortunate Wober.

Mbappe was then thwarted by Pentz as he tried to go around the goalkeeper in first-half stoppage time, but that was nothing compared to the chance he squandered 10 minutes after the restart.

Adrien Rabiot sent Mbappe away, bounding in behind the Austrian defence, but he somehow put his shot wide with just the goalkeeper to beat.

That left the game in the balance, and Austria continued to push for a leveller, but without success.

Its fans were less than impressed by what they perceived as timewasting late on from Mbappe, who needed treatment after colliding with Kevin Danso in the box.

He left the pitch with his shirt stained by blood, only to then come back on and sit down, earning himself a yellow card before being replaced by Olivier Giroud.

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