Rangnick wins debut with Austria, Denmark beats France
Ralf Rangnick started his new job as Austria’s national soccer coach with a win. On Friday evening, the ÖFB selection won the debut of the German coach at the start of the Nations League 3-0 (1-0) against vice world champions Croatia. Ex-Bundesliga professional Marko Arnautovic (41st minute), Michael Gregoritsch from FC Augsburg (54th) and Marcel Sabitzer from FC Bayern Munich (57th) scored in Osijek for the clearly superior guests.
After missing out on qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year under Franco Foda, 63-year-old Rangnick should lead Austria into a successful future. Right from the start, the former coach of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig are faced with further tough tests. This is followed by games against Denmark, world champions France and again in Denmark at the end of the Nations League block.
Surprising Danish victory
Surprisingly, the Danes won 2-1 (0-0) against France in group one. The world champion had to do without coach Didier Deschamps in Paris, who left after the death of his father. Barely a week after the Champions League victory with Real Madrid, star striker Karim Benzema returned to the Stade de France and scored the lead in the 51st minute. Andreas Cornelius (68th/88th) turned the encounter late with a brace.
The Netherlands had no trouble beating Belgium 4-1 (1-0) in group four. In Brussels, Steven Bergwijn (40′), Memphis Depay (51’/65′) and Denzel Dumfries (61′) scored against the weak Belgians, whose defense around Dedryck Boyata from Hertha BSC seemed completely overwhelmed in crucial situations. In addition, striker Romelu Lukaku had to be replaced early on with an injury. After a running duel, he initially lay down and grabbed his ankle. Michy Batshuayi’s goal (90+3) came too late.