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A Point Won!

A Point Won!

After four defeats on the trot the name of the game on Saturday was to come home without losing. A well-cared-for pitch, good – if somewhat expensive – catering, and a roofed stand were definite plus points. An official crowd of 600 (my guess would be nearer 400) saw a rollercoaster game we never really dominated, but one that was very entertaining nonetheless. Nevertheless we took the lead twice, but after letting Kufstein back in twice we ultimately had to come back from behind in the last ten minutes for a hard-earned 3-3 away draw.

As away games go Kufstein’s not that bad. Although it’s in the county of Tyrol, it’s no further than Saalfelden and easier to reach. Most of the drive is on the German ‘Autobahn’ so real men get a chance to see how their cars perform over 170 km/h (approx. 105 mph). I wasn’t pushing it too much with Christian and Lorenz as passengers, but we topped 180 km/h a couple of times. As the roads were partly wet and I still have my summer tyres on it didn’t make sense to break any records and we set off with plenty of time to get there.
Apart from one Swiss w***** in his BMW who thought he owned the overtaking lane and flashed me up from behind – which I hate – there were no really mad drivers on the road, but on a cold and rainy early October weekend there’s no real holiday/weekend traffic, so it was a stress free ride.
Having arrived in Kufstein you ask yourself why anyone would actually go there of their own free will, but that has more to do with the weather. Cute towns look shitty when it’s cloudy, windy, dim and wet. Kufstein even has its own castle and from the covered stands there’s a backdrop of the Tyrolean foothills, but on a murky, drizzly day with temperatures barely above 4°C you could easily be in Poland or Ukraine except for the lack of rust and graffiti.
Sometimes security checks at the gates are like those at Stanstead. In Kufstein we could have been mistaken for believing that the security staff wanted to ensure all possible weapons were kept INSIDE the ground. Lorenz was asked what he had in his rucksack and told them he was a photographer. They asked if they could take a look. Lorenz said ‘yes’. Then they weren’t interested after all. My thorough body search consisted of a tap on the hip, a pull on the trouser bottoms and ‘next!’ If I had wanted to – I’m sure I could have smuggled a ground-to-air rocket launcher and a couple of grenades into the ground.
In the Westliga it’s unusual for other clubs to give you a bigger welcome than ‘please do not throw fireworks or beer, and please leave the ground at the end of the game’, but on getting in there we saw a hot dog stand and a beer tent, even if there were some complaints about the prices. As the game began the temperature was somewhere around 4°C with medium heavy rain, so the best way to keep warm was join in with the Ultras. The animation programme consists of lots of chants and clapping and shouty bits and jumping – and one or two other bits where I stay quiet where there are some generalisations about people from Tyrol and their lifestyle and chosen forms of accommodation.
The game started at 0-0, which would be a good result if we could keep it that way, but after ten minutes it was clear we wanted more from the game, but weren’t good enough to keep Kufstein away from the ball and although we worked hard, Kufstein had the better moves and the better chances. However, it isn’t just about being better, it’s about being there and supporting the team even if you’re not better. Call me old fashioned. So as luck would have it we went ahead via a Vujic free kick on 36 minutes and suddenly everything started to look rosier. We managed to keep the lead up to the break and at half time I went over to the other end of the stand to look for Christian, Drax and Franz, who go to football games mainly to talk, smoke and drink. – and eat! Christian is like a hotdog-oholic and if he doesn’t eat at least three hotdogs he thinks it was a bad game. He went off for his second when I got there and brought one back for me too. No sooner had I started spilling crumbs, Mrs Federer’s voice piped up in the background – ‘Look, he’s dropping crumbs everywhere. Somebody’s got to clean that up you know!’ Like I was doing it deliberately. Bread is a crumby business, Mrs. Federer. It’s in the nature of the beast. As Lenin is reported to have said; ‘You can’t make and omelette without breaking eggs. And wasn’t that just so typically mumsy? We’re worrying about finally getting some away points and Mumsy Federer is trying to keep the stadium clean. Our Siemens vacuum cleaner takes a type P filter bag – do you know what yours takes – without looking?
The second half begins and as soon as Mrs. Federer has calmed down about the crumbs, the next exciting scene boils over. Somewhere back where the main fan block is situated someone has let off a banger or something. Kufstein’s president seemed to be trying very hard to get the game abandoned, which was provoking the fans even more. Fortunately, the ref wasn’t having any of it and told him to go and sit down again and a couple of minutes later the game was resumed. There was a lot of diving by Kufstein players, but in the first ten minutes of the second half it was Kufstein who saw three of the four yellow cards pulled in that period.
Then on 62 minutes there were crumbs and beer all over the stand in disgust as Kufstein equalised. Mrs Federer disappeared off to fetch a dustpan and brush, and I went off back to the fan block to be noisy. I’d only just got there when Patrick Mayer – the boy with the rocket in his pocket and a packet in his jacket – put us 2-1 ahead again. Crumbs and plastic beer glasses everywhere.
This time we managed to hold the lead about as long as I manage to hold a beer before going to the toilet. So 11 minutes later it was 2 – 2 and we looked a bit confused. Worse was still to come as, in the 87th minute Kufstein got behind us and went 3 – 2 ahead. Things didn’t look too good, but luck was with us as Kufstein seemed to be so shocked by their lead that they let it slip. Marko Vujic put us on level terms just a minute later and on 93 Bernhard ‘the hair’ Kletzl nearly made it 4-3, but was thwarted, as defenders are prone to be, by the skill and experience of Kufstein’s keeper, Thomas Entner.
At full time there was some silliness in the fan block as some people were more disappointed by the 3 – 3 draw than others, but we can be grateful to have a group of players and a trainer who are prepared to work under such high pressure conditions.
Despite the rain we were so fast getting home that the sun was forced to go back up again and after a coffee stop and a slash we were back at Drax’s for a plate of Kasnocken faster than Austria Salzburg can give away a lead.
I try to get my match facts from various sources to make sure I get the names right, but it’s f****** hard work when the live ticker keeps updating, although the match finished two days earlier. Are they expecting something to change? As soon as you’ve read half a sentence the ticker chucks you out of the bit you were reading and starts you off at the top of the page. I used to play that game with my little brother when I was a kid:
‘Dave. I will count to ten and then I will give you your shitty teddy bear back’. Ten – nine – eight...
‘Teddy is not shitty!’
‘Dave; it’s rude to interrupt. I’m going to have to start the countdown again. Ten – nine...’
‘That’s not fair!’
‘Ten – nine-and-a-half – nine...’
‘Give teddy back’
‘Twenty – nineteen point nine – nineteen point eight...’
If there is such a thing as bad karma, then the ticker is my brother’s revenge.
See you Sunday!
FC Kufstein - SV Austria Salzburg 3-3 (0-1)
Austria Salzburg played with:
Trappl; Kreuzwirth, Sonko, Schmidt, Tanidis; Federer (68. Borozni), Winkler (58. Kletzl), Reifeltshammer, Märzendorfer (93. Strauss); P. Mayer, Vujic
0-1: Vujic (36., free kick) (Assist: P. Mayer)
1-1: Hartl (62.)
1-2: P. Mayer (67.) (Assist: Vujic)
2-2: Treichl (78.)
3-2: Treichl (87.)
3-3: Vujic (88.) (Assist: Borozni, Eckball)
Shots total: Kufstein 18 / Austria 11
Shots on target: Kufstein 10 / Austria 5
Shots blocked: Kufstein 2 / Austria 1
Corners: Kufstein 7 / Austria 3
Fouls: Kufstein 13 / Austria 19
Offsides: Kufstein 6 / Austria 5
Yellow cards:
Kufstein: 5 (Unterrainer, 50./criticism; Mayerl, 52./foul; Husic, 56./foul; Treichl, 73./foul; Hetzenauer, 91./foul)
Austria: 6 (Sonko, 27./foul; Winkler, 56./foul; Reifeltshammer, 80./foul; Trappl, 84./criticism; Schmidt, 85./foul; Märzendorfer, 90./criticism) Kufstein,
Kufstein-Arena, 600 spectators
Ref: Dragan Jovanovic; Assistants: Herwig Seidler, Heinz Frühwirt

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