3 things we learned from Ukraine v. Austria
Austria beat Ukraine 1-0 in Budapest to reach the knockout round of the European Championships for the first time in their history.
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Manager Franco Foda and his Austria side were punching the air with delight at the full time whistle, as Christoph Baumgartner’s first half goal was enough to secure victory.
Ukraine barely got going and Austria should have won more comfortably but were solid at the back.
Austria now face Italy in the last 16 at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, while Ukraine will have to wait to find out if they can sneak into the last 16.
3 things we learned, Ukraine - Austria
1. Wasteful Austria impress: They could have easily won 3-0 as Arnautovic and others wasted big chances. Austria were solid defensively and lively on the counter and given that Italy will press high against them, they have the quality to ht them on the break. Alaba, Arnautovic and Sabitzer are all classy players and Austria will be full of confidence and will keep it tight against Italy. Are they the surprise package of EURO 2020?
2. Ukraine run out of steam: Andriy Shevchenko’s men looked flat throughout and it was really surprising, especially as they only needed a draw to reach the last 16. Maybe that fact played into their mind and can explain their passive display? They are likely heading home as they may not make it through as one of the four best third-placed teams. That’s a shame as their attacking trio of Malinoskiy, Yarmolenko and Yaremchuk can cause problems on their day.
3. Arnautovic erratic: On his day he can score amazing goals but this was an off day for Arnautovic as he came back into the team after his one-game ban. Maybe that impacted his focus or rhythm? Whatever happened, Austria need their talisman to stay focused and if he can, he can cause Italy problems.
Man of the Match: David Alaba - Provided quality from wide areas and used his experience to get Austria over the line.
Austria started brightly as Marcel Sabitzer smashed a shot over.
Ukraine struggled to threaten in the first half as they worked the ball wide but couldn’t create clear-cut chances.
Marko Arnautovic had a shot deflected wide and almost got on the end of a David Alaba cross as Austria pushed for the opener.
It arrived via a corner from Alaba, as Christoph Baumgartner prodded home.
Ukraine responded well to going behind as Shaparenko’s shot was pushed away and Yarmolenko couldn’t quite stretch enough to finish the rebound.
Konrad Laimer then bent a shot towards the top corner that Bushchan pushed away.
Arnautovic should have doubled Austria’s lead but got it all wrong with only Bushchan to beat.
In the second half Ukraine tried to push hard for the equalizer they needed, as Bachmann saved well after an in-swinging free kick almost forced Austria into scoring an own goal.
But Austria worked tirelessly to keep Ukraine away from their goal and it worked, as they eased over the line and into the last 16.