Green-Whites narrowly defeated in their opening games

Veljkovic and Schmid begin their EURO 2024 campaigns

Romano Schmid on the ball for Austria against France.
Romano Schmid made his first ever appearance at the EUROs in Austria's opening game against France (Photo: IMAGO).
First Team
Tuesday, 18.06.2024 / 12:15

Despite putting in strong performances to kick off this year’s tournament, both Milos Veljkovic’s Serbia and the Austrian side with Romano Schmid and summer signing Marco Grüll fell to narrow defeats in their opening matches of the European Championships. Serbia were beaten 1-0 by a strong England XI on Sunday evening, with the Austrians also losing by the same deficit against Didier Deschamps’ France.

It was clear from the offset that the Green-Whites' start to the EUROs would be anything but a walk in the park, with all three Werder players involved coming up against tough opponents in their opening games of the tournament. Milos Veljkovic was named in Serbia’s starting XI to take on England at the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen, in turn making his first ever appearance at the European Championships.

After just thirteen minutes, young talent Jude Bellingham ran onto the end of Bukayo Saka’s deflected cross and nodded home the opener for the Three Lions. Serbia piled on the pressure after the break and searched hard for an equaliser, but were unable to get one back, and Gareth Southgate’s men claimed all three points.

Despite the narrow defeat, Veljkovic put in a strong performance and was able to celebrate the personal achievements of making his first appearance at the tournament, as well as remaining in action for the entire 90 minutes. On Thursday, 20th June, Serbia are set to play their second group stage game against Slovenia, who drew 1-1 with Denmark in their opening fixture on Sunday.

A short cameo for Romano Schmid

Werder midfielder Romano Schmid and new signing Marco Grüll’s Austria were narrowly beaten 1-0 by France, despite putting in an impressive performance. Didier Deschamps’ side, which contained superstar Kylian Mbappé, made the better start and created a number of good chances, while both Schmid and Grüll watched on from the bench.

Luck was not on Austria’s side as they fell behind from an own goal. Seven minutes before half time, Borussia Mönchengladbach defender Maximilian Wöber headed past his own ‘keeper, and Austria couldn’t find an equaliser despite being the better side after the break. Head coach Ralf Rangnick threw on Werder’s Romano Schmid as an impact substitute in injury time, while Grüll did not play.

Austria’s performance should still give them encouragement for their remaining group games. They will next be in action on Friday, 21st June at 18:00 CEST, against a Poland side who lost 2-1 to the Netherlands in their opening game.

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