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France edges Austria on Wober own goal

Antoine Griezmann France Max Wober Austria Antoine Griezmann and Max Wober - The Canadian Press

It wasn't convincing at times, but France got the job done and opened Euro 2024 with a 1-0 win over Austria.

A Maximilian Wober own goal was the lone marker of the match.

France found some early success down the right with smart link-up play from Kylian Mbappé and Theo Hernandez, but the Austria backline was up for the challenge and largely snuffed out any danger.

Austria had a terrific opportunity to open the scoring in the 37th. Michael Gregoritsch played a fine ball into the area for Marcel Sabitzer. The Austria captain headed down to meet the run of Christoph Baumgartner. In alone on Mike Maignan, the RB Leipzig's first touch was too heavy and the Milan goalkeeper was able to repel the attack and send it out for a corner.

France would make them pay thanks to a stroke of luck.

In the 38th, Mbappé sent a cross to the front of the net from the byline that was earmarked for Griezmann, but before it could get there, Wober headed past a motionless Patrick Pentz and it was 1-0 just like that.

It was the second own goal of the tournament.

The second half opened with Griezmann needing treatment for a cut to his head after falling face first into the ad boards following a challenge from Wober. There was no booking on the play despite some French anger.

In the 55th, Mbappé looked certain to claim his first Euro goal. Sprinting in alone on Pentz, he curled his effort well wide. The play had an expected goal probability of .613.

With Austria looking brighter after a triple substitution, France came forward for a second. Taking a pass from Mbappé, Hernandez sent an inviting ball across the face of goal, but Griezmann couldn't get to it and a follow-up from Jules Koundé was blocked.

Minutes later, Austria fans called for a penalty when Sabitzer was bundled over by William Saliba, but the referee wasn't interested.

In the 79th, Baumgartner had another opportunity to score, breaking in on the left. Maignan came off of his line to snuff out the danger, but took a boot in the face for his efforts. Baumgartner was booked on the play.

There was a lengthy stoppage in the 86th. After Mbappé was fouled by Konrad Laimer, Griezmann sent a free kick into the area met by Mbappé's head. Following through, Mbappé's face went right into the shoulder of Kevin Danso and his nose began to bleed profusely. Coming off for treatment, Mbappé attempted to come back on and immediately went to ground again. He was booked for time wasting by the referee before being substituted off for Olivier Giroud.

Giroud could have iced it late in stoppage, but he scuffed his shot from close range after a nice setup by Randal Kolo Muani.

Both teams are back in action on Friday. In a heavyweight clash, France takes on the Netherlands in Leipzig, while Austria takes on Poland in Berlin.

The Oranje beat Poland, 2-1, in the group's first match on Sunday.