Coverage of Euro 2024 as Max Wober’s own goal gave France a 1-0 win over Austria in Group D; Christoph Baumgartner was close to opening the score for Ralf Rangnick’s team; Kylian Mbappé suffered an alarming injury to his nose late in the match

By means of Adam Bate, commentary and analysis @ghostgoal


6:36, UK, Tuesday June 18, 2024

France started their Euro 2024 campaign with a 1–0 win over Austria in Group D as a result of Max Wober’s own goal.

The Leeds United defender nodded past his own goalkeeper as he tried to deal with Kylian Mbappe’s cross. One goal proved enough to seal victory, but the result came with what Didier Deschamps described as the “black mark” of Mbappe suffering a nose injury late on.

The France forward was reportedly taken to hospital after leaving the field with a nosebleed following an accidental collision. “His nose is not good at all,” Deschamps said.

It was subsequently confirmed that Mbappe had broken his nose and will return to action wearing a mask. It remains unclear whether Mbappé will be available for France’s next match, Friday evening against the Netherlands.



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Austrian Max Wober scores the decisive own goal against France in Düsseldorf

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Austria came into the match having lost just one of their previous 16 games and appear reinvigorated under Ralf Rangnick, embracing his pressing style. It served them well for much of the first half and Christoph Baumgartner should have opened the scoring.

But French goalkeeper Mike Maignan denied him from close range and Austria immediately paid the price. Mbappé reached the touchline on the right and Wober could only turn his cross past his own keeper and into the net.

The lead at the break allowed France to play on the counter-attack in the second half and that clearly presented Austria with danger. Mbappé should have doubled the lead when he drove clear, but could only measure his shot wide.

It was a tense final as France failed to find that second place, but Austria could not create a clear opening. Rangnick will still fancy their chances of progressing from Group D. France will of course have much greater ambitions.

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Mbappe ‘probably’ broke his nose



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France’s Kylian Mbappe holds his nose after suffering an injury late in the match

Mbappe scored the only goal of the match and squandered a great chance to make it two, but the biggest concern afterwards was the nose injury he suffered late in the game.

On an aerial challenge in an attempt to head the ball into the net, he connected with an opponent’s head instead. When Deschamps was asked afterwards whether Mbappe’s nose was broken, he replied: “Probably so.”

He revealed: “His nose is not good at all. We will look into it. It is clearly the black spot towards the evening. Even if it is just a nose, it is very annoying for us.”

The injury led to his substitution, after he was shown a yellow card for delaying play to allow this to happen. What’s next for the French star at the 2024 European Championship remains to be seen.

Star Player: Kante still has the old magic

There was a moment in the 85th minute of the match when Patrick Wimmer raced through from deep that it looked as if Austria might conjure up an unlikely equalizer. The rest of the defense was defeated, but not the magnificent N’Golo Kante.

It was typical of another great performance from the great midfielder, typical of the work he has put in throughout his great career.

He won the Premier League with Leicester, repeated the feat with Chelsea and added a Champions League crown. He has already won the World Cup with France and on this basis he is not ruling out the European Championship.

Now 33, many will have wondered what form he was in when he played in the Saudi Pro League. But the pace is still there and the experience enormous. He retains the ability to sense danger and the physicality to do something about it.

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Statistics: Story of the match

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So far in Group D…

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