Group C: Austria reach Euro 2020 knockout phase; Wijnaldum double maintains Netherlands' perfect record

Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine must wait to see if they have done enough to advance among the third-placed finishers
Group C: Austria reach Euro 2020 knockout phase; Wijnaldum double maintains Netherlands' perfect record

Christoph Baumgartner was Austria’s match-winner in Bucharest (Mihai Barbu/AP)

Austria progressed to the knockout stages of the European Championship for the first time after Christoph Baumgartner’s goal secured a 1-0 win over Ukraine in Bucharest.

Baumgartner produced what proved the decisive moment with a 21st-minute finish as Franco Foda’s men leapfrogged their opponents to claim second spot in Group C and set up a last-16 meeting with Italy at Wembley on Saturday.

Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine, meanwhile, must wait to see if they have done enough among the third-placed finishers to advance themselves, having ended up with three points from their three group matches.

A positive start from Austria saw early efforts sent off-target by Marcel Sabitzer and Aleksander Dragovic.

There was also a shot deflected wide from Marko Arnautovic, who was available again after being banned against Holland for insulting another player in his side’s opener against North Macedonia.

Five minutes later Austria grabbed the lead when David Alaba delivered a corner from the left and Baumgartner diverted the ball in with an outstretched leg.

Ukraine threatened just before the half-hour mark as Mykola Shaparenko saw his shot pushed away by Daniel Bachmann, with Andriy Yarmolenko just unable to get his boot to the loose ball.

Baumgartner, who had been involved in a clash of heads with Illia Zabarnyi prior to scoring, then had to be replaced by Alessandro Schopf, before Konrad Laimer had a curling attempt punched away by Georgi Bushchan.

As Austria continued to push for a second goal late in the first half, Arnautovic spurned a great chance as he side-footed wide near the penalty spot having been teed up in fine style by Schopf, then had a tame effort gathered by Bushchan, before Laimer missed the target with a skewed hit.

After the break, Xaver Schlager saw one strike saved by Bushchan and put another wide, before Bachmann was called upon to keep the ball out when it came off Laimer’s head.

Ukraine went close again with two minutes of normal time remaining, with Roman Yaremchuk flashing a shot across the face of goal as Shevchenko’s side failed to rescue a draw that would have seen them retain second place.

Meanwhile, Georginio Wijnaldum claimed a double as Holland completed a perfect Group C campaign with a 3-0 victory over North Macedonia in Amsterdam.

On an evening when Goran Pandev made his 122nd and final appearance for the Macedonians, Wijnaldum scored twice inside seven second-half minutes to cement a win which had been set up by Memphis Depay’s 24th-minute strike at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

The Dutch, who were already assured of top spot, will now head for Budapest and a last-16 clash with one of the best third-placed teams in Groups D, E or F on Sunday, while the tournament debutants will return home pointless, but certainly having made an impression.

North Macedonia showed plenty of early intent as they attempted to leave on a high.

Indeed, they had the ball in the net with just nine minutes gone when Ivan Trickovski ran on to Pandev’s clever flick and fired past Maarten Stekelenburg, only for an agonisingly tight offside decision to end his celebrations.

Their luck did not improve with 22 minutes gone when Aleksandar Trajkovski – with Pandev once again the architect – beat Stekelenburg with a fine strike only to see it come back off the upright, and their dismay was to increase within seconds.

Daley Blind’s challenge on Pandev left the striker in a heap, but sparked a blistering counter-attack at the end of which Depay exchanged passes with Donyell Malen before sliding the ball past Stole Dimitrievski to open the scoring despite a VAR check on Blind’s contribution.

The Macedonian keeper kept his side in it with a save at the feet on Denzel Dumfries on the half-hour mark, and they might have been back on level terms before the break had defender Visar Musliu been able to better direct his header.

They would have been further behind, however, within five minutes of the restart had Trickovski not been perfectly-placed to clear Matthijs De Ligt’s bullet header off the line, although the respite was temporary.

Only seconds more had elapsed when Wijnaldum timed his run to perfection to meet Depay’s cross and extend Holland’s lead, also ensuring their run of scoring two or more goals in consecutive games extended to 10.

And the game was effectively over with 58 minutes gone when, after Dimitrievski had palmed away Depay’s effort, Wijnaldum followed up to make it 3-0.

Substitute Wout Weghorst rattled the crossbar seconds before Pandev was afforded a guard of honour by his team-mates as he was replaced by Tihomir Kostadinov with 21 minutes remaining.

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