Austria and finals debutants North Macedonia face a rapid reunion having also been paired together in qualifying when the Austrians won both games.
Defending UEFA EURO 2020 champions Austria will be North Macedonia’s first ever matched in Bucharest
While North Macedonia is one of two teams making their UEFA European Championship debuts in these finals, along with Finland in Group B, Austria are taking part for the third time in four editions of the tournament, and are aiming to reach the knockout stage for the first time.
Austria finished second in Group G with 19 points, five more than third-placed North Macedonia. The teams had never met before being paired together in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2020. Austria came from behind to win 4-1 at the National Arena Todor Proeski in Skopje on 10 June 2019. They reconvened at Vienna’s Ernst-Happel-Stadion on 16 November 2019, Austria booking their finals place with a 2-1 victory – their sixth win in seven matches.
FACTS ABOUT AUSTRIA:
Austria’s greatest achievement is a third-place finish at the 1954 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland. They last qualified in 1998, when the tournament was staged in France. This is Austria’s third EURO finals appearance, all in the last 12 years. Austria finished bottom of Group F, losing to Hungary (0-2) and Iceland (1-2). Their last goal was scored by Alessandro Schöpf in the Stadionul Ilie Oană in Ploieşti on 14 October 2020.
They lost their first two matches and, with their finals place already secured, the last, 1-0 in Latvia. The last, they have not won a game at a major finals since 1998.
FACTS ABOUT NORTH MACEDONIA:
North Macedonia qualify for their first final tournament. Igor Angelovski’s side were third in Group G behind Poland and Austria. North Macedonia have never finished higher than fourth in their qualifying section for a UEFA European Championship or a World Cup. They are the 35th country to have qualified for the EURO. North Macedonia are scheduled to travel to Romania in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup on 25 March 2021.
They last played in Bucharest back in 1997, losing 4-2 to the hosts in World Cup qualifying. They have only other visit to Romania on 4 September 2004, in Craiova, losing 2-1 to their hosts in another World Cup qualifier. They also face Slovenia in the play-off semi-finals on Sunday. North Macedonia are the first team to reach the final of the UEFA Euro 2020 play-offs.