Austria opened their Euro 2020 campaign with a hard-fought 3-1 victory over North Macedonia in Bucharest.
Franco Foda’s side were sent on their way by a brilliant finish from Stefan Lainer (18), who volleyed home Marcel Sabitzer’s superb cross.
However, a comedy of errors in the Austrian defence allowed North Macedonia, who were playing in their first match at a major tournament, back in before the break. Veteran striker Goran Pandev (28) capitalised on the mix-up and produced a historic moment to bring his side level.
After the break, North Macedonia had their moments as Daniel Bachmann denied Boban Nikolov, but they eventually began to tire, and substitute Michael Gregoritsch (78) converted David Alaba’s cross to break North Macedonian hearts before Marko Arnautovic (89) – another substitute – struck late on to round off proceedings.
Victory sees Austria take an early lead in Group C ahead of the second game in the group between Netherlands and Ukraine, which takes place on Sunday evening.