EURO2008 City Scenes: Austria Survived, Just About – A Chat Review

15 06 2008

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Poland_-_Austria_%2802%29.jpg

Photo: Polish supporters in Vienna; not to be confused with Austrian supporters, who dress red-white-red!

The final crunch test for the Austrian team approached on Thursday, June 12, 2008. Having lost against Croatia the Sunday before (0:1, though with a strong performance in the second half), another loss would have meant the end of the Austrian participation in the tournament. Would Austria’s fate that evening as its co-host Switzerland the day before?

Fate had another path that night, though for long stretches of the game it seemed that the end of Austria’s EURO2008 dreams of reaching at least the semi-finale was rather unlikely. If your German is good enough, you should read the lovely commentary by my colleagues of kick08.net on that game; some of them were actually watching the game live at the Ernst-Happel-Stadium. According to the writer, there were four acts to the day and the game, with an unknown enthusiasm (Act II) from the Austrian fans for their national team, for about the first 30 minutes. Their attack skills in particular captivated the fans – the execution of scoring evidently less, because no goal was scored then. A picturesque passage I would like to quote here (in my English translation):

“Team and Fans became one, the emotions on the pitch and on the echelons merged to one collective though of the sea of senses and yearning for the first success in red-white-red at the European Championship emerged with every attack yet again to a national football delirium.”

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