Austria earn first European Championship win

Austria's forward Michael Gregoritsch celebrates scoring his team's second goal with his team-mates including Austria's defender David Alaba (C) during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group C football match between Austria and North Macedonia at the National Arena in Bucharest on June 13, 2021.

Substitutes Marko Arnautovic and Michael Gregoritsch earned Austria their first ever victory at a European Championship as Franco Foda's side edged past tournament debutants North Macedonia in their Group C opener.

Gregoritsch met captain David Alaba's sublime cross with 12 minutes remaining to end North Macedonia's resistance, before Arnautovic put the result beyond doubt after rounding goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski.

Veteran striker Goran Pandev looked to have earned a memorable point for Euro 2020's lowest ranked side.

Making his 120th appearance, 20 years on from his international debut, North Macedonia's all-time leading scorer Pandev sent his nation's supporters into raptures in Bucharest when he cancelled out Stefan Lainer's strike.


The 37-year-old Genoa forward, part of Jose Mourinho's treble-winning Inter Milan side of 2009-10, pounced on a defensive mix-up involving new Real Madrid signing Alaba and goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann and slotted in to an open goal after 28 minutes.

Borussia Monchengladbach right-back Lainer had produced a fine finish to give an uninspiring Austria the lead 10 minutes earlier, leaping to volley in Marcel Sabitzer's excellent pass.

Lainer held up a shirt reading "Eriksen stay strong" following his goal, after the Denmark midfielder collapsed in his side's Euro 2020 match against Finland on Saturday.



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