Austria got their Euro 2020 campaign off to a winning start, recording a 3-1 victory over a spirited North Macedonia side in Bucharest.
The match was entertaining from the first whistle with Austria opening the scoring in the 18th minute. Borussia Monchengladbach’s Stefan Lainer was the scorer, volleying home Marcel Sabitzer’s cross-field pass at the back post.
Their lead did not last long, however, with the timeless Goran Pandev taking advantage of an Austrian defensive mixup to slot home an equaliser before the break.
During the second half the momentum of the game switched regularly. Austria would be the ones to score, though, with David Alaba’s cross being side-footed home by substitute Michael Gregoritsch. Another sub, this time Marko Arnautovic, would then grab a third goal at the death.
Here are your player ratings for both teams…
Player ratings from Turkey 0-3 Italy as goals from Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne open Euro 2020 in style.
We preview the opening game of Group C as Austria go in search of their first ever European Championship finals win against minnows North Macedonia.
A preview of North Macedonia ahead of Euro 2020, including strengths, weaknesses and their key players.
A preview of Austria’s chances at Euro 2020, including strengths, weaknesses and key players to watch.
Daniel Bachmann (GK) – 4/10 – Terrible error for the goal and was shaky afterwards. His selection in the first place was a bit of a surprise and he could lose his place for the next game.
Aleksandar Dragovic (CB) – 6/10 – Taken off at half-time after picking up a knock. Did fine prior to that.
David Alaba (CB) – 8/10 – Interestingly deployed as a sweeper at first. Involved in the mixup for Pandev’s goal but cannot be blamed that much. His long passes rarely missed their target and he created the winner after pushing forward in the second half.
Martin Hinteregger (CB) – 7/10 – Drove his team forward from the back. Passing was loose on occasion.
Stefan Lainer (RM) – 8/10 – Incredible finish. Without doubt the goal of the tournament so far. He impressed in other areas as well, providing a consistent threat down the right.
Konrad Laimer (CM) – 5/10 – The game really passed him by. His lack of match sharpness really showed.
Xaver Schlager (CM) – 5/10 – Did not do anything wrong but mostly failed to catch the eye.
Marcel Sabitzer (CM) – 8/10 – Set up the opener with an incredible cross-field pass. Was always the one looking to advance Austria up the field and he dictated the tempo of Austria’s attacks.
Andreas Ulmer (LM) – 6/10 – Not as much of a threat as Lainer out wide and wasn’t massively tested by his opposite number.
Christoph Baumgartner (ST) – 6/10 – Picked up some promising positions in a role he has not played too often. Often let down by his team’s insistence on going long to Kalajdzic.
Sasa Kalajdzic (ST) – 4/10 – Was always a threat because of his height but his touch was loose. Arnautovic’s chances of starting against the Netherlands are high.
Philipp Lienhart – 7/10 – Did not put a foot wrong.
Marko Arnautovic – 7/10 – Made his mark on the competition with a tidy goal. Should get the nod for the next game after Kalajdzic struggled.
Michael Gregoritsch – 7/10 – Timed his run well to grab the winner.
Julian Baumgartlinger – N/A
Stefan Illsanker – N/A
Stole Dimitrievski (GK) – 7/10 – Made a huge save midway through the second half, stretching desperately to deny Gregoritsch. Little he could do to preserve his clean sheet.
Boban Nikolov (RWB) – 7/10 – Showed terrific energy to cover lots of ground down the right. So nearly scored just before he went off in the second half.
Stefan Ristovski (CB) – 7/10 – Covered the right half-space excellently for the most part. He made SIX tackles overall.
Darko Velkovski (CB) – 7/10 – A rock in the heart of defence. Made more clearances than anyone else on the pitch.
Visar Musliu (CB) – 6/10 – The least impressive of the North Macedonia back three. Might have done more to prevent the winner.
Ezgjan Alioski (LWB) – 5/10 – Caught at the back post for North Macedonia’s opener. Sometimes let his passion spill over and was sloppy in possession. However, he did cause the opposition trouble at times.
Enis Bardhi (CM) – 7/10 – Caught the eye with some neat exchanges. He is just so so silky on the ball. A real joy to watch.
Arijan Ademi (CM) – 7/10 – One of his team’s best performers. He broke up play valiantly throughout, registering five tackles and two interceptions.
Eljif Elmas (CM) – 7/10 – Spritely and exciting throughout. Retained possession in tight areas very well.
Goran Pandev (ST) – 8/10 – Moments like his goal are what the expanded, 24-team tournament are all about. His movement was top notch.
Aleksandar Trajkovski (ST) – 6/10 – Important in the build-up to Pandev’s goal. Worked extremely hard.
Tihomir Kostadinov – 6/10 – Showed good commitment.
Egzon Bejtulai – 6/10 – Brought on to shore things up, which he could not manage.
Ivan Trichkovski – 6/10 – The veteran could not grab a late equaliser.
Milan Ristovski – N/A