Austria leave it late to down North Macedonia in Euro 2020 opener

Austria needed a pair of late goals but secured a potentially vital three points in their opening Euro 2020 match against North Macedonia.

North Macedonia were denied a point in their first ever match at a major international tournament as Austria left it late in Bucharest.

Stefan Lainer gave Austria a first-half lead before veteran Macedonia legend Goran Pandev pounced on some comical defending to level things up.

Goran Pandev Euro 2020
Goran Pandev Euro 2020

That is how it stayed until Bayern Munich star David Alaba crossed beautifully for substitute Michael Gregoritsch to put Austria back in command of the match.

Fellow substitute Marko Arnautovic added some gloss to the scoreline with injury-time looming.

You can read the full match report on our sister site Football365 here.

Stat of the day

As per OptaJoe, David Alaba became the first Austrian defender to assist in an European Championships Finals ever, the first one for his country in a major tournament this century (since Anton Pfeffer vs Cameroon in the 1998 World Cup).

What's next for Austria and North Macedonia?

Austria travel to Amsterdam on Thursday to face group favourites the Netherlands at 8pm (BST). They won't necessarily be expecting much from it, though, with their final group game against Ukraine likely to decide their fate.

North Macedonia, meanwhile, will remain in Bucharest to take Ukraine, which kicks off at 2pm BST on Thursday.

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