Ukraine 0-1 Austria: Alaba and co seal second place

News Desk
Ukraine Austria F365

Austria progressed to the knockout stages of the European Championship for the first time after Christoph Baumgartner’s goal secured a 1-0 win over Ukraine in Bucharest.

Baumgartner produced what proved the decisive moment with a 21st-minute finish as Franco Foda’s men leapfrogged their opponents to claim second spot in Group C and set up a last-16 meeting with Italy at Wembley on Saturday.

Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine, meanwhile, must wait to see if they have done enough among the third-placed finishers to advance themselves, having ended up with three points from their three group matches.

Can we all calm the f*** down about England, please?

A positive start from Austria saw early efforts sent off-target by Marcel Sabitzer and Aleksander Dragovic.

There was also a shot deflected wide from Marko Arnautovic, who was available again after being banned against Holland for insulting another player in his side’s opener against North Macedonia.

Five minutes later Austria grabbed the lead when David Alaba delivered a corner from the left and Baumgartner diverted the ball in with an outstretched leg.

Ukraine threatened just before the half-hour mark as Mykola Shaparenko saw his shot pushed away by Daniel Bachmann, with Andriy Yarmolenko just unable to get his boot to the loose ball.

Baumgartner, who had been involved in a clash of heads with Illia Zabarnyi prior to scoring, then had to be replaced by Alessandro Schopf, before Konrad Laimer had a curling attempt punched away by Georgi Bushchan.

As Austria continued to push for a second goal late in the first half, Arnautovic spurned a great chance as he side-footed wide near the penalty spot having been teed up in fine style by Schopf, then had a tame effort gathered by Bushchan, before Laimer missed the target with a skewed hit.

After the break, Xaver Schlager saw one strike saved by Bushchan and put another wide, before Bachmann was called upon to keep the ball out when it came off Laimer’s head.

Ukraine went close again with two minutes of normal time remaining, with Roman Yaremchuk flashing a shot across the face of goal as Shevchenko’s side failed to rescue a draw that would have seen them retain second place.