Former Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick began his spell in charge of the Austrian national team on a winning note after they produced an emphatic away win over Croatia who reached the final of the last World Cup tournament in Russia before losing to eventual champions France and are going to the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.
Rangnick was appointed as the Austrian national team boss while he was still the interim manager in England and Premier League heavyweights Manchester United precisely. The initial plan was for him to him retain the consultancy role at Manchester United at the end of his interim managerial reign at the club, but he has opted against combining the two positions to focus on the Austria job. His first game was a daunting one on paper, but him and his players made light work of it at the expense of Croatia in a UEFA Nations League clash from Group A1.
The Austrians were victorious against Croatia in a convincing manner thanks to three goals without conceding any. Austria won’t be going to the World Cup in Qatar after losing to Wales in the playoffs, but their World Cup status for Qatar 2022 didn’t matter at all after Bologna attacker Marko Arnautovic gave them the lead four minutes from the interval. The goal from the former West Ham United player was difference between the two teams at the end of the first 45 minutes.
Within twelve minutes of the second half, Austria has taken the game away from Croatia and sealed all three points. Michael Gregoritsch added a second goal for the Austrians nine minutes into the second half before Bayern Munich star Marcel Sabitzer wrapped up the win three minutes later. Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric was rested for the start of the game on the back of his Champions League title win in Paris last week Saturday and he was introduced immediately after the Sabitzer goal, but it had little effect on the outcome of the game.
The win is a good one for Rangnick who didn’t have the best of times in England. He was able to show football fans in England of his managerial prowess with his first game in charge of the Austrians.