Don't miss




Contempory art fever takes over the city of light

Read more


Hannah Starkey, a female perspective on both sides of the lens

Read more


Revisiting a dark chapter in France and Cameroon's history

Read more

#TECH 24

Facebook on the frontline

Read more


Iraqi foreign minister warns retaking Mosul 'does not mean end of terrorism'

Read more

#THE 51%

The Trump effect: Sexism scandals put gender on the map in US election

Read more


Designers' Apartment showcases tomorrow's fashion talents

Read more


Champagne, a French success story

Read more


Grandes écoles: France's elite-making machines

Read more

Brave Austrians stumble on Croatian hurdle

Latest update : 2008-06-08

Austria suffered the same fate as co-hosts Switzerland in their EURO 2008 opening game, losing to a solid Croatian side 1-0. Though putting in a brave performance, the home team were unable to equalise after Croatia's 4th-minute penalty.

VIENNA - Croatia got their Euro 2008 campaign off to a winning start on Sunday when a fourth-minute Luka Modric penalty proved enough to beat co-hosts Austria 1-0 in the opening game of Group B.
Croatia were well worth their win against a team placed 92nd in FIFA's world rankings and set the pace before group rivals Germany and Poland met in Klagenfurt later on Sunday (1845 GMT).
Austria have been widely tipped to lose all three games in their first appearance at a European Championship. Though they were keen enough, their disjointed efforts betrayed a lack of competitive action and they only came alive in the last 20 minutes.
Croatia, noisily backed by around 20,000 of their fans in the team's red and white chequered shirts, arrived at the tournament full of confidence after seeing off England from their qualifying group.
The decisive moment came minutes after their supporters had taken their seats after the anthems.
Ivica Olic was chasing a hopeful ball towards the byline when he was clumsily brought down by Rene Aufhauser and Modric converted the spot kick straight down the middle.
The goal immediately settled the Croatians, whose neat-passing midfielders began coolly knocking the ball around.
Olic and Mladen Petric both went close to touching in a second after a dangerous low Darijo Srna free kick, before Petric, unmarked in the area, blasted wide after a deep cross from Vedran Corluka.
Austria looked shell-shocked by the early setback and only late in the half did they build any sort of attacking pressure, their best effort coming when Joachim Standfest steered a header just over the bar.


The home side were more positive after the break, pinning Croatia back for long periods and swinging in some dangerous crosses. But a poor final ball too often let them down.
The introduction of Umit Korkmaz for the last 20 minutes added some bite to the Austrian attack as they built to a rousing finale, but Croatia held out.

Date created : 2008-06-08