France scrape past Austria in Euro 2024 opener despite Mbappe's broken nose

Maximilian Woeber's own goal was enough to give France a winning start to their Euro 2024 campaign on Monday as they edged Austria 1-0 in their opening game but Kylian Mbappe came off late on with a broken nose.

Woeber diverted Mbappe's cutback into his own net seven minutes before half-time in Duesseldorf to allow the French, one of the leading contenders to win the tournament, to come through a stiff test.

Austria have been much-improved under Ralf Rangnick and they often made life uncomfortable for the 2022 World Cup runners-up, who saw Mbappe leave the field near the end after being hurt in a collision.

He had earlier failed to convert a glorious chance that would have allowed France to win by a wider margin, and sources close to the player confirmed he had broken his nose in the accidental clash with Kevin Danso.

"We had the chance to put the game to bed and it is true that we could have been more precise in attack, but it's very good to start with a victory," said France coach Didier Deschamps.

"It is a good habit to have and we need to try to keep it."

France will be relieved to have emerged victorious after a build-up overshadowed by talk of politics rather than football.

Any slip-up here would have led to suggestions their minds had not been fully focused on the competition.

That proved crucial as France took the lead two minutes later.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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