BERLIN (AP) – Austria boosted its hopes of reaching the round of 16 at the European Championships by beating Poland 3-1 on Friday, eliminating the Poles in the group stage.

Gernot Trauner, Christoph Baumgartner and Marko Arnautovic scored the goals for Austria, while Krzysztof Piatek equalised for Poland in the first half.

Robert Lewandowski, who had missed Poland's first match against the Netherlands due to injury, came on in the second half but was unable to assert himself and received a yellow card after just five minutes on the pitch.

“We are depressed by this result, but we still have one game left in our group and we have to do our best and try to get three points,” Lewandowski told Polish broadcaster TVP Sport.

Poland's slim chance of progressing from the group stage vanished hours later when the Netherlands and France drew 0-0, ensuring that the Poles will finish bottom of Group D with one game left.

Austria, who had just lost to France, came out of the match with a bang and took the lead within ten minutes when Trauner headed in a cross from Philipp Mwene.

The Poles fought back and equalised just before half-time when Piatek converted a rebound from close range.

Polish fans cheered when their record goalscorer Lewandowski came off the bench 15 minutes into the second half to make his Euro 2024 debut, replacing Adam Buksa in attack.

However, the captain had a disappointing evening in Berlin. After a hard foul on Philipp Lienhart, he was shown the yellow card almost immediately and two minutes later he gave Austria the lead again: Baumgartner took an excellent pass from Alexander Prass and scored to make it 2-1.

This time Poland did not have the strength to respond.

Arnautovic sealed the win for Austria with a penalty after Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny brought down Marcel Sabitzer in the penalty area in the 77th minute.

Baumgartner said the team felt the pressure after the opening loss to France, which ended Austria's seven-match winning streak.

“To be honest, there was a lot of pressure on us,” Baumgartner said. “We are really relieved.”

Lewandowski suffered a thigh injury during pre-tournament warm-ups and missed Poland's first game of the European Championship. He was not in the starting line-up against Austria but said on Friday that he was fine and in “no pain at all”.

Coach Michal Probierz said he brought on Lewandowski to regain momentum when the score was 1-1.

“We wanted to break through the Austrian defense in the second half. It's a shame we didn't manage to score the winning goal straight away,” said Probierz.

Austria will next face the Netherlands after a loss and a win on Tuesday.

In the last round of the group stage, France faces Poland with two defeats.


AP writer Monika Scislowska in Warsaw contributed.


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