Austria upset Netherlands, Poland deny France top spot

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England draw with Slovenia, Serbia hold Denmark

Austria upset Netherlands, Poland deny France top spot

Austria won Group D after Marcel Sabitzer's late 3-2 winner stunned the Netherlands whereas Robert Lewandowski helped Poland hold France to a 1-1 stalemate in the last round of group play on Tuesday, reported Xinhua.

The Netherlands caught the worst possible start at Berlin Olympia stadium as Donyell Malen cleared Alexanders Prass' square pass into the wrong goal, giving Austria a 1-0 lead with six minutes played.

The Dutchmen responded well and tried to restore parity, but Tijjani Reijnders squandered two promising opportunities as the match progressed.

Austria remained dangerous though as Sabitzer tested goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen with a low shot in the 38th minute.

The Netherlands caught a perfect start two minutes into the second half as Xavi Simons initiated a counterattack before feeding Cody Gakpo, who curled the ball into the far post corner with a well-placed shot.

It was a short-lived joy for Ronald Koeman's men as Austria bounced back and took the lead again after Florian Grillitsch's pinpoint cross allowed Romano Schmid to nod home at the hour mark.

The Netherlands remained unimpressed and made it two all with 75 minutes gone as Memphis Depay tapped home Wout Weghort's assist by header.

Austria had the last laugh and clinched the group win after Sabitzer finished off Christoph Baumgartner's good build-up work from tight angle to round off the 3-2 victory.

"The team showed a great will today. They always came back and that against a strong opponent which is remarkable. In the end, we secured a deserved victory here. It is unbelievable that we have won this group after staring with a defeat," said Austria head coach Ralf Rangnick.

In the other Group D clash, France failed to secure the group win as veteran striker Robert Lewandowski cancelled out Kylian Mbappe's opener to ensure a 1-1 draw.

With the result, Austria finished the group atop the standings with six points, followed by France (5 points), the Netherlands (4 points) and Poland (1 point).

"I would like to thank the fans for showing up today despite us being eliminated. We fought until the end, and we had some really good spells," said Poland coach Michal Probierz.

Meanwhile, England claimed top spot in Group C despite being held to a goalless stalemate by stubborn Slovenia while Denmark finished in second after sharing the spoils with eliminated Serbia in the last round of group play on Tuesday.

Slovenia started highly motivated into the encounter knowing that at least one point would see them advance into the knockout stage whereas the Three Lions were already through.

Benjamin Sesko created the first clearcut opportunity after testing England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford with a header from close range in the fifth minute.

England sparked to life midway through the first half and thought it had broken the deadlock but for all that Bukayo Saka's goal was ruled offside.

Harry Kane posed threat in the closing stage of the first half after heading narrowly wide following Kieran Trippier's dangerous cross into the box.

After the break, chances were at premium as England controlled possession without doing damage to Slovenia's well-positioned defence.

Slovenia's defence kept England on the distance and secured one point to keep its Euro campaign alive.

"We wanted to complete the group stage atop the standings and to be in control of our own destiny. It was a tough match, but we improved a bit compared to our last game. We controlled the ball but failed to finish the job in the final third," said Kane.

England coach Gareth Southgate added: "We were the better team and dominated. We had several chances to win the game but me missed the final pass."

In the other Group C clash, Denmark couldn't break the deadlock against Serbia, but the goalless draw was enough for the Danes to reach the knockout stage as runner-up.

With the results, England tops the group with five points, followed by Denmark, Slovenia (both 3 points) and Serbia (2 points).

The top two of each of the six groups and the best four third finishers will enter the round-of-16 knockout stage.

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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