The Austrian national football team was disappointed against Denmark on Monday evening. The new head of the team, Ralf Rangnick, had to admit defeat in Copenhagen with a score of 0: 2 (0: 2). The goals were scored by Jonas Wind (21) and Andreas Skov Olsen (37). The Austrians now have to fight to stay awake in the A-League of Nations in the fall. In the table, they are third after four points from four matches under Rangnick’s leadership, two points ahead of world champions France.
Not least due to tension, Rangnick made six changes to the starting lineup. As announced the day before, the target was guarded by Heinz Lindner instead of Patrick Bentz. In addition, international player Patrick Wimmer and striker Sasa Kalajdic joined the team. Valentino Lazaro played left back. “We don’t have a lot of opportunities in this position,” Rangnick said. Xaver Schlager was the only Austrian to start his fourth international match in eleven days, replaced by long-range teammate Konrad Laimer at the break.
Because David Alaba played the cheerleader only due to confidant issues and Marko Arnautovic as “The Joker,” Marcel Sabitzer led the ÖFB in front of 35,230 spectators at Barken Stadium – about 100 of whom were in the far camp – as captain. With the Danes, Christian Eriksen was initially on the bench where he suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field exactly a year and a day earlier in the European Championship match against Finland (0-1).
Austria’s chances at the start of the match
The Austrians started bravely. Wimer appeared after 16 seconds for the first time in front of Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. Schmeichel saved Sabitzer’s shot (7′) as well as Kalajdzic’s attempt from a narrow angle (12′). Other than that, Kallajdic and fellow striker Faymann were disqualified, and the Danes increasingly took control when it started raining and not only looked playful, but were physically superior as well.
Matthias Jensen tested Lindner with a touch (14), and Andreas Cornelius aimed inaccurately with his head (5th) and foot (16). A header from Joakim Maehle from a good position also headed away (20), but the looming goal came a minute later: a diagonal ball from Joachim Andersen opened up the entire ÖFB attack, Maehle sent Wind, who carefully finished the Pentagon.
Olsen’s second goal
Wind also played a key role in Andreas Skov Olsen’s second goal. The Austrian coach, who scored two goals in a 4-0 World Cup qualifier last year in Vienna, did not miss the opportunity. Kevin Danso has never attacked from central defence.
The Austrians looked a little tired after the long season. Lazaro was visibly struggling in his unfamiliar role and stayed in the locker room at break, as did the industrious Wymer. Rangnick switched from a four-man defense to a three-man defense with substitutions by Laimer, Stefan Liner and Karim Onisio. Lehner, Faymann, and Sabitzer later served as the wing’s defenders. There was little progress, Calajdic’s shot offside went over the goal (60th place).
Arnautovic and Grigorić came
Arnautovic and Michael Grigorić entered as new strikers for Kalajic and Weimann (66), but the mood was especially high when Eriksen was substituted fifteen minutes from the end – a goosebumps moment. The Danish midfielder hit the crossbar like the previous week in the 2-1 win over the semi-finals of the European Championship in Vienna (87th place). The Austrians did not have much chance. Gregorich’s attempt was very harmless (ranked 77).
The ÖFB selection also lost its sixth competitive match with Denmark. The next international matches for Austria are not scheduled for the second half of September. Then the Nations League will be completed with a guest appearance in France (22) and a home match against Croatia (25th place). Denmark enters the autumn at the top of the standings with nine points, ahead of Croatia (7). The last person in the group has to go down. A league in the European elite is ÖFB’s stated goal.
France, the world champion, also has to accept defeat
France, the defending champion, remained unwinnable in the current Nations League, even after its fourth appearance. The world champions lost 1-0 (0-1) to second place runner-up Croatia on Monday evening at Stade de France. The old champion Luka Modric scored the only goal of the match in the fifth minute from a penalty kick. France are now two points behind Austria in fourth place in the table, and Croatia is second behind Denmark after winning their second successive victory.
France coach Didier Deschamps made eight changes to his starting lineup in Saint-Denis compared to the 1-1 draw in Vienna three days ago. In addition to Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe broke in. The attacking power of the French slowed down after a few minutes: central defender Ibrahima Konate hit Croatian striker Ante Bodemir in the penalty area in the ankle. After the VAR check, it was time for the penalty kick. Milan goalkeeper Mike Minan approached the French goal in Modric’s attempt, and the Real Madrid playmaker celebrated the 22nd goal in the team’s 152nd match.
Then the Croats switched to not giving Mbappe and his partners any space. France got into the game better and better, but “Bleus” hardly created any convincing opportunities. On the flip side, Maignan had to save against Lovro Majer after more than 70 minutes. The Croat, who was also playing Salzburg’s Luka Sucic on the field in extra time, kept his goal suspended until the end. (Abba)
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