Two goals in the closing period helped Austria to their first-ever European Championships victory in their opening Group C encounter with North Macedonia.
Late goals from Michael Gregoritsch and Marko Arnautovic sealed the three points for the Austrians after Stefan Lainer had given them the lead midway through the first half.
The tournament debutants equalised before the break through Goran Pandev but were unable to hold out as the more experienced Austrians came good at the end.
North Macedonia gave a starting position to the veteran Pandev, who began his international career 20 years ago.
Aleksander Trajkovski was selected to provide support, while Ezgjan Alioski was rewarded for a strong season with a place in the defence.
For Austria, Sasa Kalajdzic was given the nod to start up front with Marko Arnautovich deemed not fit enough. David Alaba began on the left.
North Macedonia were the ones to start the brighter. Alioski saw a miscued a pass destined for Pandev. He then created space for himself with a one-two before it was cleared.
Austria didn’t create a lot other than a long-distance shot from Kalajdzic, but their first meaningful attack resulted in the opening goal.
Marcel Sabitzer lofted the ball into the area as Lainer drifted past the defence. He was able demonstrate athletic ability to hook it past Stole Dimitrievski from a tight angle.
Sabitzer almost helped create another straight away, but Kalajdiz shot directly at North Macedonia keeper Stole Dimitrievski.
If North Macedonia were guilty of switching off, the equaliser was even worse. Alioski played the ball into the area which hit two Austrian defenders.
Alaba attempted to hold off one of the forwards to shield the ball to Daniel Bachmann. The keeper spilt the ball which allowed Pandev tap home into an empty net.
Macedonia’s confidence was up and started to press their more illustrious opponents. Stefan Ristovski tried his luck from distance that ended over the bar.
Trajkovski was lucky to just escape with a yellow card as he was judged to have caught Aleksander Dragovic with a stray elbow.
Austria started the second half in determined fashion. Dimitrievski was forced to punch a sliced clearance before it caused more problems. The keeper got a knock for his troubles.
The game was tightly poised and Bachmann redeemed himself to save from Boban Nikolov who had got behind the Austrian defence.
Dimitrievski saved his side at the other end when substitutes Marko Arnautovich and Michael Gregoritsch combined for an opportunity.
The former floated in a ball for the latter to glance a header goalwards. The North Macedonian keeper proved his worth with a good save.
Austria ramped up the pressure as the North Macedonians began to sit deeper. Sabitzer saw a header over from a corner and Arnautovich set up Schlager who shot wide.
Just when North Macedonia thought they had survived the storm, Austria went ahead. Alaba came forward to join the attack and provide a moment of true quality.
His wonderful low cross was met by Gregoritsch, who tapped home despite the efforts of Dimitrievski.
North Macedonia had a late chance through Milan Ristovski, but Austria sealed the win as Arnautovich played a one-two before running through, rounding the keeper and slotting home.
Celebrations then for the Austrians. They next play Netherlands in Amsterdam next Thursday. North Macedonia play Ukraine again in Bucharest on the same evening.
Austria: Daniel Bachmann; Stefan Lainer, Martin Hinteregger, Aleksandar Dragovic (Philipp Lienhart 46), Andreas Ulmer; Xaver Schlager (Stefan Ilsanker 90), Konrad Laimer (Julian Baumgartlinger 90), Christoph Baumgartner (Marko Arnautovic 59), David Alaba (c); Marcel Sabitzer, Sasa Kalajdzic (Michael Gregoritsch 59).
Subs not used: Christopher Trimmel, Alessandro Schopf, Alexander Schlager, Louis Schaub, Pavao Pervan, Valentino Lazaro, Florian Grillitsch.
Booked: Stefan Lainer (85)
North Macedonia: Stole Dimitrievski; Ezgjan Alioski, Visar Musliu (Tihomir Kostadinov 63) (Milan Ristovski 87), Boban Nikolov, Stefan Ristovski, Darko Velkovski; Eljif Elmas, Enis Bardi (Ivan Trickovski 82), Arijan Ademi; Goran Pandev (c), Aleksandar Trajkovski (Egzon Bejtullai 63).
Subs not used: Risto Jankov , Feran Hasani, Darko Curlinov , Daniel Avramovski, Kire Ristevski, Damjan Siskovski, Stefan Spirovski, Krste Velkoski.
Booked: Aleksandar Trajkovski (43) Ezgjan Alioski (53).
Referee: Andreas Ekberg
Attendance: 9,082 (official).
Extratime.com Player of the Match: David Alaba (Austria).