Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

Austria qualified for Euro 2024 on Monday with a 1-0 victory away to Azerbaijan in Baku that ensures they will finish in the top two of Group F.

Austria’s Marcel Sabitzer celebrates scoring their first goal(REUTERS)

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marcel Sabitzer scored a penalty three minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute to book an appearance at a third straight European Championship for Austria.

Ralf Rangnick’s side shrugged off a 3-2 home defeat by Belgium last week to join them among the eight countries now guaranteed a place at next year’s 24-team tournament in Germany.

Austria were awarded a penalty early in the second half when Sabitzer’s free-kick was handled by a player in the Azerbaijan wall.

His team-leading fourth goal in qualifying, and second spot-kick in four days, was enough to seal victory as Tural Bayramov missed a glorious late chance to equalise for Azerbaijan.

Austria finished with 10 men as Guido Burgstaller was sent off after picking up two yellow cards in stoppage time.

A fifth win in seven matches pushed Austria 10 points clear of third-placed Sweden, who will have to go through the play-offs in order to avoid failing to qualify for the first time since Euro 96.

Austria are level on 16 points with Belgium but have played a game more than the unbeaten group leaders. They conclude their qualifying campaign away to Estonia next month.

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