Debutants Austria Win Group, France Survive Scare

Wednesday evening’s Group C games saw Austria finish top on their Euro finals debut, while France overcame a double blow to also make the quarter-finals.

An early red card and goal conceded put France’s progress in question but Switzerland were unable to fully make their advantage pay.

Claire Lavogez was left frustrated by an impressive save from Swiss keeper Gaelle Thalman but moments later the French had much more to be concerned about.

In the 17th minute, Ramona Bachmann burst forward and went down after colliding with last defender Eve Perisset 25 yards out, with the full back consequently sent off.

From the Martina Moser free-kick, Ana Maria Crnogorčević found space to power a header home.

Camille Abily forced Thalman into a smart low save and later Switzerland’s Lara Dickenmann did likewise at the other end, with Sarah Bouhaddi making the stop.

France were level with 15 minutes left, the goal again coming from a free-kick but Thalmann was at fault for allowing Abily’s effort to fly straight in.

The last kick of the match was a Bachmann set-piece which could have changed everything but it was hit straight at the keeper, as Les Bleues went through and Switzerland prepare to go home.

Austria made sure of clinching top spot in the group, two goals in an eight-minute spell setting up a clear win over Iceland.

The Austrians were gifted a 36th-minute lead after Gudbjörg Gunnarsdóttir made a mess of a cross and Sarah Zadrazil gratefully netted.

Nina Burger doubled the lead a minute before the break, turning the ball home from another right-wing delivery which was glanced on by the head of Zadrazil.

Stefanie Enzinger came off the bench to get the third goal for Austria in the penultimate minute, following up a parry by the keeper to score.

Pictured – Outsiders Austria celebrate topping their group. (oefb.at)