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Humble Austria faces Croatia

Latest update : 2008-06-08

Co-host team Austria consider their opening match rival Croatia as a "world class" team but Austrian coach hopes to win at least one game in the tournament after just two wins in their past 16 outings.

Austrian coach Josef Hickersberger said his Euro 2008 co-hosts had set themselves a target of winning at least one match as he Saturday looked forward to Sunday's opening Group B encounter with Croatia.

The Austrians come to the event as potential whipping boys having mustered just two wins in their past 16 outings - one of which was against Malta.

"The players are ready, They think that a surprise is possible," insisted Hickersberger, whose charges must also face Germany and Poland and whose first goal is to avoid abject humiliation.

"We know our rivals are experienced and world class but we have fixed a target. We want to offer Austria its first win at a major tournament in 18 years," said Hickersberger.

That victory came at the 1990 World Cup - when the United States were bested 2-1.

"If we want to reach our goal and reach the quarter-finals then we must win at least one match. We have three chances to do so."

Date created : 2008-06-08

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