The official website for European football

Modrić penalty undoes gutsy Austria

Published: Monday 9 June 2008, 0.55CET
Austria 0-1 Croatia
Luka Modrić gave Croatia three points as the co-hosts followed Switzerland in making a losing start.
by Trevor Haylett
from Ernst-Happel-Stadion
Modrić penalty undoes gutsy Austria
Luka Modrić drives his penalty past the diving Jürgen Macho ©Getty Images

Match statistics

AustriaCroatia

Goals scored0
1
Attempts on target6
 
1
Attempts off target9
 
7
Corners4
 
7
Fouls committed17
 
17
Yellow cards3
 
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:56 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Monday 9 June 2008, 0.55CET

Modrić penalty undoes gutsy Austria

Austria 0-1 Croatia
Luka Modrić gave Croatia three points as the co-hosts followed Switzerland in making a losing start.

Austria went the same way as co-hosts Switzerland, opening their UEFA EURO 2008 challenge with a narrow defeat as Luka Modrić's early penalty gave Croatia victory in Vienna.

The midfielder scored the only goal of the first Group B game in the fourth minute, firing in after Ivica Olić had been brought down by René Aufhauser – the fastest penalty converted in finals history. The home side took time to find their feet after that setback, but mounted a stirring late charge with substitute Roman Kienast heading centimetres past the post seconds before the whistle.

Coach Josef Hickersberger ended the goalkeeper conundrum by selecting Jürgen Macho ahead of Alex Manninger but, with three minutes and 35 seconds on the clock, the Austria No21 was forced to pick the ball out of the net following the worst of starts. Modrić showed outstanding control to keep an attack alive and found Olić, who was blocked as he attempted to go outside Aufhauser. Modrić slotted in the spot kick with aplomb, driving down the centre of goal with Macho diving to his right.

With an entire nation having worked themselves into a fever of anticipation, it was a blow that could have shattered Austrian morale. For Slaven Bilić's men, meanwhile, the immediate breakthrough settled nerves and there was an assurance about their football. The home team looked vulnerable every time Croatia forced a set piece, Darijo Srna's delivery proving impeccable. It left Martin Stranzl and company overworked and little was happening at the other end to lift local spirits, although Sebastian Prödl shot wide from distance with Stipe Pletikosa watching it all the way.

The Austria defender then rose highest to meet a corner but his effort flew beyond the far upright. After Mladen Petrić had rushed a volley, sending the ball off target, Austria finally began to assert themselves and proved they could get behind the Croatia back line. Martin Harnik gathered a ball played incisively inside the full-back and his cutback prompted some hurried defensive measures from Josip Šimunić before a long diagonal pass found Joachim Standfest, who could not place his header on target.

Austria kicked off the second half where they had left off with Harnik, a focal point for their progress down the right, bursting beyond his marker and it was unfortunate Aufhauser could not connect with the hard-driven centre. From a similar position moments later, Harnik put too much power into his cross and the chance went begging. Perhaps inspired, Modrić went on a right-sided excursion of his own, and Stranzl had to call on all his experience to avert the danger. Austria then brought on the championship's oldest player, the 38-year-old Ivica Vastic, in a bid to rescue the situation.

With another substitute, Ümit Korkmaz, adding a vital spark, Austria threw everything at Croatia in a rousing finale, Harnik shooting too high when well-placed and Pletikosa almost fumbling a Vastic header. The Croatia goalkeeper then had to push aside Korkmaz's fierce drive but he was a spectator in added time as Kienast met a left-wing free-kick with a header that flew just wide as Austria's last chance went begging. Croatia continue their campaign against Germany in Klagenfurt on Thursday, when Austria will hope for better fortune against Poland in this stadium.

Last updated: 10/01/12 16.20CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2008/matches/round=15093/match=300684/postmatch/report/index.html#modric+undoes+gutsy+austria

Lineups

Austria

Austria

Croatia

Croatia

21
MachoJürgen Macho (GK)
1
PletikosaStipe Pletikosa (GK)
2
StandfestJoachim Standfest
3
ŠimunićJosip Šimunić
3
StranzlMartin Stranzl
4
R.KovačRobert Kovač
Yellow Card51
4
PogatetzEmanuel Pogatetz
Yellow Card3
5
ČorlukaVedran Ćorluka
6
AufhauserRené Aufhauser
10
N.KovačNiko Kovač (C)
9
LinzRoland Linz
Substitution73
11
SrnaDarijo Srna
10
IvanschitzAndreas Ivanschitz (C)
14
ModrićLuka Modrić
Goal4
12
GercaliuRonald Gercaliu
Substitution69
18
OlićIvica Olić
Substitution83
15
PrödlSebastian Prödl
Yellow Card68
19
KranjčarNiko Kranjčar
Substitution61
19
SäumelJürgen Säumel
Yellow Card21
Substitution61
21
PetrićMladen Petrić
Substitution72
20
HarnikMartin Harnik
22
PranjićDanijel Pranjić

Substitutes

1
ManningerAlexander Manninger (GK)
12
GalinovićMario Galinović (GK)
23
ÖzcanRamazan Özcan (GK)
23
RunjeVedran Runje (GK)
5
FuchsChristian Fuchs
2
ŠimićDario Šimić
7
VasticIvica Vastic
Substitution61
6
VejićHrvoje Vejić
8
LeitgebChristoph Leitgeb
7
RakitićIvan Rakitić
11
KorkmazÜmit Korkmaz
Substitution69
8
VukojevićOgnjen Vukojević
Substitution83
13
KatzerMarkus Katzer
9
KalinićNikola Kalinić
14
GaricsGyörgy Garics
13
PokrivačNikola Pokrivač
16
PatockaJürgen Patocka
15
KneževićDario Knežević
Substitution61
17
HidenMartin Hiden
16
LekoJerko Leko
18
KienastRoman Kienast
Substitution73
17
KlasnićIvan Klasnić
22
HofferErwin Hoffer
20
BudanIgor Budan
Substitution72

Coach

Josef Hickersberger (AUT) Slaven Bilić (CRO)

Referee

Pieter Vink (NED)

Assistant referees

Adrianus Inia (NED), Hans Ten Hoove (NED)

Fourth official

Kristinn Jakobsson (ISL)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
  • © 1998-2013 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.