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No lifting the gloom over Vienna

Published: Sunday 8 June 2008, 23.59CET
A first EURO finals win in 12 years was not enough to prevent Slaven Bilić's Croatia sharing in the depression now hovering over Vienna after co-hosts Austria lost.
by Trevor Haylett
from Ernst-Happel-Stadion
No lifting the gloom over Vienna
Croatia coach Slaven Bilić reminded his players they had done enough to win ©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: Sunday 8 June 2008, 23.59CET

No lifting the gloom over Vienna

A first EURO finals win in 12 years was not enough to prevent Slaven Bilić's Croatia sharing in the depression now hovering over Vienna after co-hosts Austria lost.

There were mixed emotions in both camps after co-hosts Austria lost their Group B opener 1-0 to Croatia in Vienna. Although Croatia's victory was their first at a UEFA European Championship in 12 years, coach Slaven Bilić said his players were down in the mouth having gradually lost control of the game. Austria, despite an increasingly impressive display, were hardly smiling either after what coach Josef Hickersberger called "the worst possible start you could have" – Luka Modrić's fourth-minute penalty.

Josef Hickersberger, Austria coach
This was the worst possible start you could have in the opening match of a big tournament and the team are very depressed. During the first 30 minutes we did not play well. We were nervous and our combinations were not good. For the rest of the game, we played the way we should have been playing – we even dominated during the second half and were able to exert a lot of pressure on Croatia. We had good opportunities but unfortunately we weren't able to score so we finished empty-handed. The boys are disappointed because during the second half they felt they could cope with Croatia and even win the match. Now I will have to lift the team and we'll see what we can do against Poland. I enjoyed the atmosphere and it will be an advantage for the team that they've already played one game. We will have to take four points from Poland Germany to qualify.

Slaven Bilić, Croatia coach
I'm delighted that after so many years [ten] we have won a game at a major championship – this will certainly boost our confidence for the next two games. But when we got back to the dressing room I could see our players were not entirely satisfied so I turned on the cassette player and said they should sing because, after all, we had won the game. We were excellent for the first 35 minutes and the early lead contributed to that. It was disappointing we were unable to score a second to finish the game off. Then Austria started to put pressure on us, more so in the second half, and we dropped too deep, into our own penalty area, too soon. Obviously some of our players were overwhelmed by playing at such a big tournament but we have started in the best possible way. Our creative players were good but they must be better than good if we are to win matches easily.

Last updated: 10/06/08 1.42CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=706851.html#no+lifting+gloom+over+vienna

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