Austria beat Azerbaijan to qualify for Euro 2024


Austria's midfielder #09 Marcel Sabitzer celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Euro 2024 football tournament Group F qualifying match between Azerbaijan and Austria in Baku on October 16, 2023.

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marcel Sabitzer scored a penalty three minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute to book an appearance at a third straight European Championship for Austria.

Ralf Rangnick's side shrugged off a 3-2 home defeat by Belgium last week to join them among the eight countries now guaranteed a place at next year's 24-team tournament in Germany.

Austria were awarded a penalty early in the second half when Sabitzer's free-kick was handled by a player in the Azerbaijan wall.

His team-leading fourth goal in qualifying, and second spot-kick in four days, was enough to seal victory as Tural Bayramov missed a glorious late chance to equalise for Azerbaijan.

Austria finished with 10 men as Guido Burgstaller was sent off after picking up two yellow cards in stoppage time.

A fifth win in seven matches pushed Austria 10 points clear of third-placed Sweden, who will have to go through the play-offs in order to avoid failing to qualify for the first time since Euro 96.

Austria are level on 16 points with Belgium but have played a game more than the unbeaten group leaders. They conclude their qualifying campaign away to Estonia next month.

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