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Poland's forward Krzysztof Piatek celebrates scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group B qualification football match between Austria and Poland in Vienna. AFP photo

VIENNA: Poland forward Krzysztof Piatek continued his prolific season by scoring 10 minutes after coming off the bench to secure a 1-0 win away to Austria in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier.

The 23-year-old’s goal, his second for his country, also gave Poland coach Jerzy Brzeczek his first win at the seventh attempt since taking over following last year’s World Cup.

Piatek, Serie A’s second highest scorer this season with 19 goals for Genoa and then AC Milan, headed in after 69 minutes as the hosts paid for their poor finishing in the Group G game.

Poland had a huge let off near the end when they allowed Austria substitute Marc Janko a free header from Maximilian Woeber’s cross but the veteran forward incredibly sent his effort wide from three metres.

The hosts had made a bright start as Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny parried Marcel Sabitzer’s shot after eight minute and Marco Arnautovic scuffed his shot when Stefan Lainer’s low cross found him free in the penalty area.


Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group G - Austria v Poland - Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna, Austria - March 21, 2019 Poland's Krzysztof Piatek in action with Austria's Martin Hinteregger. REUTERS photo

Austria goalkeeper Heinz Lindner made one first-half save, turning Kamil Grosicki’s low drive past the post.

The home side’s Valentino Lazaro shot wide and Arnautovic was centimetres away with a free kick as Austria continue to press forward but it was Poland who went ahead.

Austria failed to properly clear a corner and the ball fell to Tomasz Kedziora whose strike was parried by Lindner but fell to Piatek who headed home.


Kamil Grosicki of Poland (L) in action against Stefan Lainer (C) and Valentino Lazaro of Austria (R) during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualification soccer match between Austria and Poland in Vienna, Austria, 21 March 2019. EPA photo

Piatek should have added another goal minutes later when he was sent clear by Robert Lewandowski but he fired wide. After Janko’s extraordinary miss, Szczesny also came to the rescue with an excellent save from David Alaba. — REUTERS

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