Euro 2008: Austria Warms Up
Austria got her first taste of Euro Cup action last night during a friendly match against the French. Thankfully, the result has no bearing on the coming championship, as Austria qualifies automatically alongside co-hosts the Swiss.
The Austrians lost 1-0 in the joust, with French youngster Karim Benzema putting one away in the fifty-third minute. All the same, pundits were unanimous that Austria put on a 'brave performance', and Austrian captain Andreas Ivanschitz looked like scoring after ten minutes.
There was some debate as to whether France's goal - which came from a free kick - was a just result:
"The free kick that led to the goal was invented by the referee," defender Martin Stranzl stressed. "It's a pity. Still, we can build from this."
Let's hope so. Perhaps the home advantage can inspire Austria to scale new heights when Euro 2008 kicks off in earnest next June. Watch this space for more info!