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Sunday July 14, 2024

Mbappe's broken nose mars France's Euro 2024 opener

Only goal came just before the break, an unfortunate own goal by Austria's Max Wober

By Web Desk
June 18, 2024
Frances forward #10 Kylian Mbappe kicks the ball and misses a goal next to Austrias defender #02 Maximilian Woeber during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group D football match between Austria and France at the Duesseldorf Arena in Duesseldorf on June 17, 2024. - AFP
France's forward #10 Kylian Mbappe kicks the ball and misses a goal next to Austria's defender #02 Maximilian Woeber during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group D football match between Austria and France at the Duesseldorf Arena in Duesseldorf on June 17, 2024. - AFP

France clinched a narrow 1-0 victory over Austria in their first Group D game of Euro 2024.

This was a great win for manager Didier Deschamps, as it was his 100th win with the team.

The only goal of the game came just before the break, an unfortunate own goal by Austria's Max Wober. The win put France on equal footing with the Netherlands in the group standings.

Despite creating the play that led to the decisive goal, Mbappe missed several chances to score and eventually had to leave the pitch with a bloodied nose after a mid-air collision. The French Football Federation later confirmed the injury was a broken nose and a protective mask would be crafted for the forward.

Deschamps expressed concern for his captain, saying, "He's got a really bad nose. We'll have to wait and see what the medical staff decide and how long his recovery will take. It's very bad news for us tonight."

"Obviously, the French team with or without him, this is not the same thing. I hope he can be there," said Deschamps.

On his 80th appearance for Les Bleus, Mbappe's agility and skill were on full display.

Austria, led by coach Ralf Rangnick, lived up to their promise of a robust challenge. Their high-pressure game kept them in contention until the final whistle, much to the delight of their passionate supporters.

Rangnick acknowledged France's win but praised his team's effort, saying, "All in all the French earned the win, but that we were chasing the equaliser throughout speaks for the performance of our team."

The match could have swung in Austria's favour just before France's goal, with a shot by Christoph Baumgartner narrowly missing the target after a deflection by France's keeper Mike Maignan.

France showed more dynamism in the second half, with Marcus Thuram forcing a save from Austria's keeper Patrick Pentz. However, the pre-tournament favourites often squandered promising opportunities.

Following Mbappe's injury, Kante's return was a significant boost for France. Despite Austria's hard work and possession, they struggled to create clear-cut chances, frequently thwarted by the match's standout player, Kante.

Reflecting on the win and his return, Kante said, "It starts well. Everything was not perfect, but we have the result we wanted. There are solid foundations. We have to be more efficient. It makes me happy to be back. Things have changed, but it feels good to get back into this jersey."