Austria took on North Macedonia in Bucharest for their first game of the Euro 2020 competition.
The former fielded some of Europe’s most popular talents while the latter enter the competition for the first time ever since their independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.
As anticipated, Austria held most of the possession pressing forward in the first half of the game.
It didn’t take long for them to score the opener as Stefan Lainer scored a spectacular volley close to the North Macedonian net after RB Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer provided a beautiful aerial ball.
A few minutes later, Sabitzer sent another solid cross into the box for Stuttgart forward Saša Kalajžić, but the shot was saved closed range by Dimitrievski.
Unfortunately for Burschen, the visitors got an equaliser after a mishap in the Austrian box let Macedonian stalwart, Goran Pandev, scored an easy goal almost 10 minutes later.
A fumble between the Austrian goalkeeper and captain David Alaba gave North Macedonia a lifeline.
The Austrians appealed for a penalty in the closing minutes of the first half after Christoph Baumgartner went down in the box. However, the referee did not respond to the claim.
The first half ended 1-1 with Austria looking like the stronger side.
Not much happened in the 30-minutes that followed in the second half. It wasn’t until Michael Gregoritsch and Marco Arnautović were subbed on that the momentum had changed for Austria.
Gregoritsch almost scored from a header in a crowded Macedonian box just past the hour-mark.
Luckily more than 10-minutes later, the substitute got his goal after Alaba curled a cross into the box to meet the 27-year-olds right foot.
In the dying embers of the game, Austria secured a comfortable win after the ball was flick goal-wards for Arnautović to score their third goal.
The Austrians top their group in Match Day 1 of the Euro 2020 tournament.
Source of Image: UEFA EURO 2020 via Twitter