Austria reached the Euro Cup knockout stage for the first time

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Austria reached the European Championship knockout stage for the first time as Ukraine’s last 16 ties over Italy.

Franco Foda‘s side produced a bold sign at the end of Bucharest, with Christoph Baumgartner proving enough to get Wembley and meeting the Italians on Saturday.

Ukraine, third in Group C, must wait to see if the three-point score proves enough to reach the knockout stages. And their embarrassing display here would have been heavily punished by Austria.

There is no doubt that Baumgartner should have been on the field to find the winner as he was checked just three minutes earlier for a head injury following an aerial collision.

However, the 21-year-old was allowed to continue. But 12 minutes after scoring was considered a failure.

“I can’t understand all this. My head really hurts! This is very important for all of us,” Baumgartner said after the game.

Marko Arnautovic went on to pull out a wide shot with a goal during his mercy moments before the break as Austria put in 13 shots on goal before the break. A figure only scored by Italy’s 14 against Turkey on the opening night of the tournament.

Over the top, Ukraine struggled to find pleasure in its game. Their only threatening efforts were coming when Mykola Shaparenko forced a relegation-defensive tackle on Austrian keeper Daniel Bachmann in the first half.

A historic Saturday for Austria.

Manager Andriy Shevchenko cut a frustrated man on the touchline. And after the undefeated campaign to go to the tournament. 

Ukraine now has to wait to see if they defend one of the four places awarded to third-place finishers in the tournament.

Roman Yaremchuk hit the goal late in the evening, but Shevchenko’s side did not finish the big game. They will need to get better if they pass. 

A historic Saturday for Austria (Source: Zee News)
A historic Saturday for Austria (Source: Zee News)

On the other hand, Austria will need to have more clinical against Italy. Being given the plethora of promising situations they have failed to make count here.

Their defensive midfielder at Hoffenheim, Florian Grillitsch, has impressed all over. They have been boasting more touch, passing, and intervention than anyone else on the team.

Foda will hope that Baumgartner, his style of play compared to former German star Michael Ballack can be included when they meet Italy.

It promises to be a historic moment in Austrian football. As the country rarely threatens the final stages of major tournaments.

While getting beaten through teams in the 1978 and 1982 World Cups, both tournaments had a second group title. 

Furthermore, Saturday’s game will be their first knockout game in a major tournament in 67 years when they finish third in the 1954 World Cup.

Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

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