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A Blast from the Past!

A Blast from the Past!

After a hard season of slogging out unconvincing wins and hard-fought draws 1050 fans in our sunny corner of Maxglan saw Austria Salzburg win a game on Saturday in a manner not seen since the halcyon days of the two seasons ago, when every win was at least 4-0 and opponents were only there to hand over the points. Not that I’m complaining! Apart from a wobbly start in our defence right at the beginning, Oberhofen managed to generate less pressure than a schoolgirl blowing up party balloons.


Austria Salzburg: Christof Kopleder (Picture: Michael Plackner)Austria Salzburg: Nico Mayer (Picture: Michael Plackner)Austria Salzburg: Mario Schleindl (Picture: Michael Plackner)Austria Salzburg: Kopleder and Mayer (Picture: Michael Plackner)
Click an image to start the gallery

Having checked the table before setting off to the ground I was expecting Oberhofen to be one of those scrappy 1-0 wins, with a lucky goal scored in the last ten minutes, or one of those appalling, turgid battles as with teams like Thalgau, but as it turned out Oberhofen had come with the sole intention of exposing their self-evident weaknesses. Not being able to keep hold of the ball, nor being capable of stringing together a series of more than three passes in a row, not having strikers of blistering speed, not being able to time a telling counter-attack, not being able to pressurise opponents into making mistakes, not having enough beefy players to hold a formation down….
If Oberhofen really want to go down they will have to start playing this appallingly earlier in the season next term. After witnessing the bottom three play I can’t see why St Georgen are so far behind this rabble. At least St Georgen have a go. Ultimately, the game panned out like those boxing matches arranged for fighters being preened for better things. After just 6 minutes Christof Kopleder unburdened his soul after a fairly disappointing run-up to the spring games and put the Austria fans in drinking mood. 1-0.
Kopleder looks fairly innocuous, like Peter Crouch’s younger brother; no weight, not exactly blistering pace, and when he runs it looks like he has grit in his shoes, but he has a habit of standing in the right place at the right time when the ball is flying around. After seeing him play just one full game and, up to this juncture, having seen him score just one goal it would be foolish to heap praise on such frail shoulders. However, with the jury out - just three minutes later he was back again to make it 2-0. Anyone can get lucky once or twice, or is there more to him? I checked out his scoring record before he came to Austria and of the games he played he regularly seemed to get on the score sheet, but didn’t always get put into the first team. Make up your own mind!
Nine minutes in – two up and the nostalgia is back. We’re all dreaming of a 5-0 at half time, so it’s no surprise that Austria Salzburg still managed to make hard going of cycling downhill with the wind behind them and for the next 35 minutes nothing went in, and although their were a number of chances, Salzburg’s finishing was as unfortunate as Oberhofen’s defending. In fact the only thing of note was that Stefan Leitner seemed to pull a hamstring and was replaced by DJ Mario Schleindl on 25 minutes. Shame for Leitner as he has worked hard to establish himself in the first team and is the kind of truffle swine striker who battles the ball back when it’s lost at the front.
Of course Oberhofen did have one or two chances, but a lack of quality, speed, shot selection and knowse saw the few chances created disappear into the welcoming arms of Alex Trappl. With half time fast approaching somebody must have told Nico ‘Kaka’ Mayer to do something for beer turnover. On 44 minutes Mayer answered the call sending the fans off to the bar and Austria Salzburg into the changing rooms 3-0 up at half time.
Some days the acoustics kill the crowd and some days the sound bounces around like in a concert hall. Saturday was one of those acoustic paradise days and every chant could be heard up and down Maxglan. As the teams came out for the second half the game was effectively already over but nobody wanted to go home. Everybody could sense a mauling and nobody wanted to miss out on the feast.
With the second half hardly two minutes old and the chanting just reaching full power the celebrations came with a few seconds of jetlag as Kopleder had already bagged his third and Austria’s fourth. 4-0. He may look skinny, weak and slow, but that’s easy to say from the relative discomfort of our standing seated area, but three goals do not lie. Standing a head above a number of the other players you can guess any 50/50 ball he has to stretch for will go his way – either on the ground or in the air.
4-0 began to bring back happy memories of trips out to a thousand hamlets that ended with XXXham or XXXdorf, where one family surname accounted for a significant minority of the inhabitants and the biggest attraction in the village after the pond and the bus stop, was the roundabout.
Back to the present, and without waiting for the cheering to die down Nico Mayer has just banged in another and Oberndorf are looking down the barrel of the biggest catastrophe since global warming.
With the damage already inflicted and the job already done Oliver Trappl came on for Heli Rottensteiner and Stefan Federer replaced Lubo Neubauer, just in time to witness Christof ‘Sniffer’ Kopleder nailing his fourth goal of the day. Austria Salburg 6 – Oberhofen 0. However, anyone forgetting Nico Mayer does so at their peril. Taking the ball on the left of midfield Mayer zigged and zagged past half of the Oberhofen defence like a daddy-long-legs on speed before curling the ball into the top right hand corner for what has to be one of the goals of the season. 7-0.
For the next twenty minutes or so the crowd was happy to create its own entertainment, usually crowned after 33 minutes of the second half by Schützei’s legendary call, which involves the whole of the crowd going silent and waiting for the signal – a-ra-ta-ta, ta-ta-ta, ta-ta-ta – ta – followed by an ear-drum bursting AUSTRIA shout! All part of the fun and games and I’m sure Oberhofen weren’t even aware of the party on the terraces as, apart from one or two exceptions, most of their players had already cast off their mortal coils and were already floating off to wherever their respective souls deserved to be.
85 minutes. A Mario Schleindl volley – a Mario Schleindl goal. 8-0. No party is complete without one – or two. Mario celebrates with the crowd. 91 minutes. What Mario Schleindl likes doing best is celebrating with the crowd. What the crowd likes doing best is celebrating with Mario Schleindl, so with more or less the last kick of the game everybody got what they wanted; Alex Trappl got his clean sheet, Christof Kopleder got off the mark in flying style, the team proved they can win without Mersudin Jukic and Mario got another reason to celebrate with the fans. Mario Schleindl scores his second and Austria Salzburg win 9-0. Just like the good old days!
See you in Kuchl!
Roger Lord
SV Austria Salzburg - Union Oberhofen 9-0 (3-0)
Austria Salzburg played with:
A. Trappl; Milic, Pecaranin, Weiss, Csenki; Rottensteiner (65. O. Trappl), Mayer, Neubauer (63. Federer), Seywald; Leitner (26. Schleindl), Kopleder
1-0: Kopleder (7.) (Assist: Mayer)
2-0: Kopleder (9.) (Assist: Neubauer)
3-0: Mayer (44.)
4-0: Kopleder (47.) (Assist: Seywald)
5-0: Mayer (49.) (Assist: Neubauer)
6-0: Kopleder (66.) (Assist: Mayer)
7-0: Mayer (67.) (Assist: O. Trappl)
8-0: Schleindl (86.) (Assist: Weiss)
9-0: Schleindl (92.) (Assist: O. Trappl)
Shots: Austria 21 / Oberhofen 5
Shots on target: Austria 12 / Oberhofen 2
Corners: Austria 5 / Oberhofen 4
Fouls: Austria 29 / Oberhofen 29
Offsides: Austria 0 / Oberhofen 9
Yellow cards:
Austria: 1 (Weiss, 76./foul)
Oberhofen: 3 (Drachschwandtner, 30./foul; Reichl, 59./foul; Bachleitner, 75./foul)
Salzburg, Austria-Sportanlage Maxglan, 1050 spectators
Ref: Wolfgang Prem; Assistants: Hans Schwaiger, Erwin Mair

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