Friday, June 13, 2008

Germany winded Austria breathe again

Germany winded Austria breathe again.
EURO 2008: Croatia 2:1 Germany, Klagenfurt (Srna 24', Olic 62', Podolski 78')
Austria 1:1 Poland, Vienna (Roger 30', Vastic pen. 90')

After the hubris, the fall. Croatia threw Group B open by topping early pacesetters Germany 2-1 in Klagenfurt.

The Germans’ convincing blanking of Poland was perhaps of little to read into after all. Germany had been installed as tournament favourites with Lukas Podolski as top scorer but all that may now have to be revised.

The Croats are definitely now one of the teams to beat, demonstrating their power-play technical game which eliminated England can also beat the Euro 2008 favourites.

Unlike Switzerland, Austria stayed alive at the last minute courtesy of a penalty awarded to them in injury time, duly converted by 38 year-old Ivica Vastic. The 1-1 draw means Austria can still make it to the quarter finals if they beat Germany and hope Croatia do not lose to Poland.

Polish boss Leo Beenhakker was angry with referee Howard Webb for the penalty award and said he thought Poland were already out, despite having one game to play.

Vastic's spot-kick meant Austria for now do not join co-hosts Switzerland in elimination and face an intriguing showdown next week against Germany at the Prater.

I have arrived in Vienna after a marathon 12-hour journey from Switzerland. And frankly, I did not see a single Austrian flag through the train window as I crossed the nation from West to East.

Swiss flags were everywhere in their country, so why are the Austrians not celebrating their hosting? I shall explore the capital tomorrow and find out.

For now, it is a sad farewell to Switzerland in more ways than one, but I am looking forward to the Austrian capital, Innsbruck and Salzburg very much.

(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile

Bet with Bet 365

World Soccer News

Soccer betting tips

Soccer Books & DVDs

No comments: