Rangnick makes remarkable debut with Austria

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It was Croatia that enjoyed most of the possession early, controlling 60 per cent in the first half, but it would be Austria heading into the break as the happier side after Marko Arnautovic tucked his strike into the bottom corner 41 minutes in.

After being out-shot by Croatia 10-4 in the first half – Austria's only shot on target found the back of the net – the second half was a much different story.

Of the seven shots on target in the second 45, all seven belonged to Austria, and it was rewarded with two more quick goals as Michael Gregoritsch made it 2-0 in the 54th minute, before Marcel Sabitzer struck from long-range to cap off the win in stunning style three minutes later.

With the win, Rangnick became the first manager to guide Austria to a win and a clean sheet in their debut since Hans Krankl in 2002.

Speaking after the game, Rangnick said he was pleased with how his side navigated some early pressure to come out on top.

"We had problems in the first 25 minutes, but getting the lead just before the break did us good," he said.

"In the second half we played really well and scored two wonderful goals – we could even have scored more.

"I am very satisfied."

Striker Arnautovic added: "The players were full of energy. Croatia is an excellent team, but we played a great match.

"We turned our chances to goals and deserved this win. We want to return to the top."

Austria continues its UEFA Nations League campaign against Denmark on Tuesday (AEST).


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