Croatia 0-3 Austria: Ralf Rangnick's reign begins with dominant victory

by Steven Smith
4 minutes read
Marcel Sabitzer scores
Austria missed out on World Cup qualification at the play-off stage but they began their Nations League campaign in fine style

Ralf Rangnick’s reign as Austria manager began with a hugely impressive Nations League win in Croatia.

Rangnick endured a difficult period as Manchester United’s interim boss last season, missing out on Champions League qualification.

But he started his Austria tenure in superb style, thumping the 2018 World Cup finalists.

Goals from Marko Arnautovic, Michael Gregoritsch and Marcel Sabitzer earned a comfortable win.

Former West Ham forward Arnautovic, now at Bolgona in Serie A, scored the first goal of the Rangnick era with a fine 20-yard strike four minutes before the break.

Gregoritsch lashed in a first-time effort from 12 yards shortly after half-time and Sabitzer added a wonderful third from 25 yards three minutes later.

Croatia brought on Luka Modric, who won the Champions League with Real Madrid last week, but by that stage it was too little, too late.

It was the ideal start for Rangnick, who announced last Sunday that his plans to stay on as a consultant at Old Trafford would be scrapped so he could focus on the Austria job.

He has the task of taking them forward following their failure to qualify for this year’s World Cup – they were beaten by Wales in a play-off semi-final.

And his first match could hardly have gone any better.

The 63-year-old has had a long and varied career, managing 11 different club sides, but this is his first shot at international management.

In the other game in Group A1, Nations League holders France were beaten 2-1 by Denmark.

  • Line-ups
  • Match Stats
  • Live Text



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 23Ivusic
  • 22Juranovic
  • 5Caleta-CarBooked at 74mins
  • 6Pongracic
  • 19SosaSubstituted forBarisicat 45′minutes
  • 11Brozovic
  • 8KovacicSubstituted forOrsicat 71′minutes
  • 4MajerSubstituted forModricat 58′minutes
  • 15PasalicSubstituted forVlasicat 58′minutes
  • 7Brekalo
  • 9KramaricSubstituted forBudimirat 58′minutes


  • 1Livakovic
  • 2Vrsaljko
  • 3Barisic
  • 10Modric
  • 12Labrovic
  • 13Vlasic
  • 14Ivanusec
  • 16Jakic
  • 17Budimir
  • 18Orsic
  • 20Erlic
  • 21Vida


Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 1Lindner
  • 3Danso
  • 2Trauner
  • 15WöberSubstituted forFriedlat 77′minutes
  • 9Sabitzer
  • 21LainerSubstituted forTrimmelat 45′minutes
  • 20Laimer
  • 23SchlagerBooked at 30mins
  • 10WeimannSubstituted forBaumgartnerat 72′minutes
  • 7ArnautovicSubstituted forSeiwaldat 45′minutes
  • 18OnisiwoSubstituted forGregoritschat 45′minutes


  • 4Friedl
  • 5Posch
  • 6Seiwald
  • 8Ljubicic
  • 11Gregoritsch
  • 12Fraisl
  • 13Pentz
  • 14Kalajdzic
  • 16Trimmel
  • 17Wolf
  • 19Baumgartner
  • 22Lazaro
Chris Kavanagh

Match Stats

Home TeamCroatiaAway TeamAustria
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Croatia 0, Austria 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Croatia 0, Austria 3.

  3. Post update

    Josip Brekalo (Croatia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Marco Friedl (Austria).

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ante Budimir (Croatia) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Josip Juranovic with a cross.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Marco Friedl (Austria) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marcel Sabitzer.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia).

  8. Post update

    Christoph Baumgartner (Austria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Nikola Vlasic (Croatia).

  10. Post update

    Kevin Danso (Austria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Ante Budimir (Croatia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Christoph Baumgartner (Austria).

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Xaver Schlager (Austria) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Michael Gregoritsch.

  14. Post update

    Offside, Austria. Konrad Laimer tries a through ball, but Michael Gregoritsch is caught offside.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Marcel Sabitzer (Austria) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the centre of the goal.

  16. Post update

    Borna Barisic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Konrad Laimer (Austria).

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Austria. Marco Friedl replaces Maximilian Wöber.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Nikola Vlasic (Croatia).

  20. Post update

    Michael Gregoritsch (Austria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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