Nations League: ÖFB gives Rangnick his first dream

Of course, this was not expected before the match, even after 40 minutes the vice world champion got more shots. But Marko Arnautovic made Austria happy, though not entirely out of nowhere, up front with a great solo performance (41). Because the idea of ​​the click-and-switch Rangnick had already appeared before the break. In addition, he managed to transform into a defensive quadruple during the first half.

It paid off even more after the break, when Rangnick brought in three new players. “Joker” Michael Gregorich stabbed after a pass from Maximilian Weber (54). Three minutes later, Marcel Sabitzer scored two goals (57) and allowed the 150 fans who traveled with them to express their joy. The start of the Rangnick era was also impressive, because in the sixth match was the first point victory over Croatia, who had not lost before in 13 matches in Osijek.

Arnautovic hits the lead worth watching

Nice one time act by the Bologna Legion.

Austria took the lead in Group A1 after the first day of play. In the parallel match, Denmark managed to surprise the world champion France with a 2:1 victory. The semi-finals of the European Championship will be in Vienna on Monday (8.45 pm, live on ORF1).

Apa / Robert Jaeger

First Appearance as Measured: The Rangnick Era began with great fanfare in Croatia

Surprises in the first 11 start of Rangnick

Rangnick already knew how to surprise with his first 11 matches. Andreas Faymann started on the left in a 3-5-2 fashion, Arnautovic was the substitute captain in his 99th match, then Karim Onisio sprinted off. Christoph Baumgartner, who was full of praise for the team boss in the first week, has taken his place on the bench for now. The three-man defense with Gernot Trauner became apparent, so whooper and Kevin Danso were no surprise in the lineup.

Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic, who has had to come to terms with losing his father during the week (like Didier Deschamps of group opponent France), has done without Luka Modric for the time being. Real Madrid team-mate David Alaba, who was absent in Croatia, sat on the bench. Inter player Ivan Perisic was injured, so Mateo Kovacic distinguished himself from the strong team. Born in Linz, he also wore the captain’s tape, and, by the way, Rangnick also knew the central defender well: former Salzburg players Doug Kalita Car and Marin Bongrasic were supposed to close the Croatian store.

Hot dance in Osijek

The Rangnick era began at VRT Gradski, in a stadium that opened in 1980 and has retained that charm – despite the Croatia national team making their last appearance here. Because the new stadium will open at the end of 2022.

Fans in front of the stadium Kastler

Fans gathered for the last time in front of and in Gradsky, the stadium that opened in 1980 had its day

After a hot summer day in Osijek with a temperature of over 30 degrees, it was still 25 degrees at the start of the match. It was also hot in the stadium because the fans loudly celebrated their team with patriotic songs before the match. Similar to what happened recently in Wales, Austrian officials must believe that such a mood would be nice again in Austria. This was one of the reasons Rangnick, who is a brave, energetic and therefore entertaining game, got involved. “We want to play a good game and try to win,” the team boss said up front.

First of all, Croatia sets the tone

Austria played all black in Osijek, and the first half was initially difficult for the guests. Because you started out nervous, you made unnecessary mistakes and got yourself into trouble. A bad pass from Danso here, a bad shot by goalkeeper Heinz Lindner there, and finally Danso saves for the first time against Mario Pasalic. While seated, Rangnick followed him when Arnautovic was hit hard by Kovacic but was able to continue after the treatment (4′).

Before that, the Bologna soldier had already shown his pressing skills, and he did not risk the whole team, but tried to create chances in this way. Lehner narrowly missed (7th). Three for Austria’s back were high, causing a danger, Liner removed the ball shortly afterwards (8). After the match cooled down a bit, Croatia set the tone as a ball-secure team and were able to open holes, especially on the wings.

Croatia had more chances, such as the remarkable Pasalic, who got past Pricalo’s cross (19). Rangnick climbed to the sidelines and turned into a defense quad, which should pay off as the game progresses. But whooper came out against Pasalic (25 min), Kovacic tested Lindner from distance (29 min) – now the home side’s lead was long-deserved. In the 32nd minute, Andrej Kramaric failed because of Lindner. Three minutes later, the goalkeeper saved the crossbar, but English referee Chris Kavanagh saw Pasalic’s error anyway.

Arnautovic shows his class

and Austria? During this stage, the guests allowed Croatia to take the lead, but as Rangnick previously discussed, they tried to find “the right moments” to hurt the Croatians. Faymann failed with a shot (23 minutes), after which the Austrians did not finish similar toilet attempts well enough.

Marko Arnautovic

Reuters/Antonio Brunic

Freezing cold on a hot day in Osijek: Arnautovic sank dry, lower right

But just before the break, there was a “luck stroke”. After a wide pass, Onisiwo managed to drain the ball into the midfield. Arnautovic grabbed the ball and showed his impressive performance. He ran and moved to the middle and completed the penalty kick in the right corner (41). After scoring his 33rd international goal, his celebrations were muted. But that probably had nothing to do with the leadership of the Austrian Premier League team that was put into the half-time break.

Double hit after the break

Austria should finally take the lead after the first half. Rangnick made three substitutions, including top scorer Arnautovic. Christopher Tremmel, Nicholas Seewald and Gregorich came in, Austria not running the lead but doing their best. Weimann pressed, passed Laimer and Grigoric failed – it was not offside – for goalkeeper Ivica Ivosic (51).

Sabitzer increases to 3:0 (57th minute)

A long-range shot makes the final decision.

But Austria did not despair, continued to believe in herself, and courage was rewarded. Served by Sabitzer Wöber, who turned out to be a left-back position he was unfamiliar with in the game. And Salzburg player Josip Yoranovic left on the left and Grigoric shot (54 minutes), a goal he played well for the visitors. It turned out even nicer, because Bayern’s Sabitzer drank the target water and used the free space on the left with a shot in the near corner (57).

Austria brings victory back home

The Croatian hosts were amazed, and the fans demanded Luka Modric with a wide grin. She came, too, but did nothing. Instead, Austria missed out on an even bigger win with Schlager (65th) and Weimann (72nd). In the back, the aft quad around the Trauner cleared everything out, and the air came out afterwards.

We are back in Austria that night and then preparations for the match against Denmark will begin on Monday at the Ernst Happel Stadium. 12,500 tickets were sold before Croatia’s guest performance, and that number is likely to rise. In any case, the 150 fans who traveled to Osijek were amazed and celebrated (“Oh, how beautiful”) a great victory, especially since Croatian fans had never booed their team here before.

Comments about the game:

Ralph Rangnick (ÖFB captain): “We had problems in the first 20, 25, 30 minutes of 3-5-2. We practically couldn’t get to any stage. It was helpful for us to switch to 4-2-2-2. We made it happen. Much easier on ourselves. I think we completely controlled the match in the second half. In the end it could have been higher. For the first time in this constellation, the way we played, I am satisfied with the performance in the last hour. I didn’t like the first half at all. From the 30th minute it looked like football.”

Marko Arnautovic (UEFA top scorer): “I already said the players are hot and have energy. Everyone wants to show once again that we are a good team. We proved it today. We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy match. We knew the Croats were a good team, and you can Seeing that in the first half. We took our chances and are happy. Now let’s take a look at Monday and Denmark.”

Zlatko Dalic (Croatia national team president): “I congratulate the Austrian team. I’m sorry for the fans we lost. It was good in the first few minutes, but after that we didn’t show any strength. I think we played well in the first half hour, but after we conceded the first goal we didn’t We can come back. It was really bad. We’re not a team anymore. Austria was faster and more aggressive than us. We knew Austria would play well and be aggressive.”

UEFA Nations League, Group A1


Croatia-Austria 0:3 (0:1)

Osijek, Gradski vrt Stadium, 18,000 spectators, SR Kavanagh (ENG)

target sequence:
0-1 Arnautovic (41 minutes)
0:2 Grigorich (54)
0:3 Sabitzer (57)

Croatia: Ivosic – Juranović, Punjracic, Kalita Kar, Sosa (46 / Barisic) – Pasalic (58 / Vlasic), Brozovic, Kovacic (71 / Orsek) – Majer (58 / Modric), Kramaric (58 / Bodimir), Bricalo

Austria: Lindner – Danso, Trauner, Wöber (77 / Friedel) – Lainer (46 / Trimmel), Laimer, Sabitzer, X. Schlager, Weimann (72 / Baumgartner) – Arnautovic (46 / Seiwald), Onisiwo (46 / Gregorich)

Yellow cards: Caleta-Car or X. Schlager

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