Kylian Mbappé suffers bloodied face, misses simple chance, but France beats Austria

Kylian Mbappé suffers bloodied face, misses simple chance, but France beats Austria

Updated Jun. 17, 2024 5:17 p.m. ET

Kylian Mbappé was battered and wounded on Monday — eventually leaving the field with blood streaked across his white France jersey — and still could not end his frustrating streak of never having scored a goal at the European Championships.

Mbappé was involved in everything as France opened its campaign by beating Austria 1-0 in Düsseldorf. 

The France captain took a shot that ended in a goal, was later presented with a wide-open goal, was the game's biggest goalscoring threat, and was so focused on goal that he got smacked in the nose when going for a header.

And still — no goal.


The late collision with defender Kevin Danso caused Mbappé's substitution and will surely lead to close medical supervision over the coming days, amid early concerns that he may have sustained a broken nose.

Mbappé cares more for actual hardware than personal accolades, so he will not be unduly concerned that he could not open his personal tally during a Group D clash that resulted in head coach Didier Deschamps' 100th victory for France.

However, the newly-acquired Real Madrid star must wonder exactly what he has to do to find the net at the Euros, and erase a statistic completely at odds with his overwhelming success in other competitions.

Mbappé was heavily involved in the only goal of the game, making the most of a defensive lapse to trap the ball at the edge of the area and sprint toward the end line. 

From there, he whipped the ball into the center with force, and unfortunate defender Maxi Woeber could only direct his headed attempted clearance past his own goalkeeper and into the net.

Austria's mishap was contrary with a fine performance for Ralf Rangnick's team, in which it more than matched France for much of the game and looked consistently comfortable in possession.

Conceding after 3 minutes forced a planning shift that opened up more space for France, the World Cup finalist, on the counterattack.

From one of those opportunities Mbappé seemed certain to finally score a Euros goal, having gone scoreless in his only previous appearance at the delayed 2020 tournament.

When he advanced clear towards the Austria goal and goalkeeper Patrick Pentz moved forward in the 55th minute, the photographers were preparing to snap Mbappé's famed celebration. Unthinkably, Mbappe appeared to hesitate, then steered a meek shot wide of the target.

The clash with Danso, minutes before the end, came from Mbappé's attempt to launch a header goalwards. Falling to the ground, he appeared shaken and received several minutes of treatment.

He received a yellow card for returning to the field without refereeing permission and was then replaced by Olivier Giroud, who was also guilty of a remarkable miss with the goal at his mercy.

France's inability to put away the game led to a few late nervous moments, but ultimately it was mission accomplished for one of the tournament favorites.

France next meets the Netherlands in Leipzig on Friday, while Austria must try to save its campaign when it faces Poland in Berlin earlier the same day.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.


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