Austria booked their place in the knockout stages of Euro 2020 after registering a 1-0 victory against Ukraine on Monday.
Austria booked their place in the knockout stages of Euro 2020 after registering a 1-0 victory against Ukraine in their final group game on Monday. The match was not something a football fan would have enjoyed. Both teams were, quite frankly, poor throughout the match. The only goal in the match came in the first half when Austria’s Christoph Baumgartner put the ball past the Ukraine goalkeeper to hand the advantage to the Austrians in Bucharest. This is the first time Austria has ever qualified to the knockout stages of the Euros. They will face an undefeated Italy in the round of 16 on Saturday.
Austria’s goal was set up by skipper David Alaba. Ukraine had conceded a corner that was received by Baumgartner at the edge of the six-yard box. He stuck out a leg and the ball rolled past Ukraine goalkeeper Bushchan to make the score 1-0. Unfortunately, that was the only goal in the match. It was also the only part of the game that would have football fans out of their seats.
The remainder of the match can best be described as a snoozefest. Despite being down by a goal with the potential of crashing out of the tournament, the Ukraninans showed little to no signs of urgency. They played like a side that has either already made it to the knockout stages of the competition, or a side that had already been knocked out. They will now have to wait and see whether they are one of the top four third-placed teams to advance to the next round.
The Austrians were over the moon as the referee blew the final whistle. This is the first time they have made it to the knockout stages of the Euros. Their celebrations after the game showed just how much it meant to them. Some of the Austrian players were in tears after the result, and even their manager could not help but show a bit of emotion along with his team. It indeed is an historical moment in the history of Austrian football.
On the other side of the spectrum, Ukraine seemed a devastated side. On paper, they had the better players and should have been able to scrape at least a point from the game. The likes of Yarmolenko and Zinchenko seemed absolutely devastated. Manager Shevchenko also seemed dejected after the final whistle.
The possession stats in the game were more or less the same. Ukraine managed to see 51% of the ball whereas Austria saw 49%. The difference between the two teams, however, lay in the shots. Ukraine could only manage to record five, of which only one was on target. The Austrians, on the other hand, struck a flurry of shots at the opposition goalie. They recorded a total of 18 shots, of which four were on target. One of them found the back of the net.
Austria might have made it to their first ever Euro knockout stage, but they will have the task of defeating an in-form Italy side, who have not lost a single game in 30, and managed to not concede a goal in over 1000 minutes of football.