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Seen it, done it, won it!

Seen it, done it, won it!

As Strasswalchen doesn’t seem to have parking or traffic facilities to cope with around 800 Austria fans this game had to be moved to the neighbouring town of Oberhofen where around 1200 fans witnessed a pleasant sense of déjà vu as Austria Salzburg repeated the score they achieved almost a year ago in very much the same conditions, a 5-1 win and the jump to the top of the table.

Just like almost a year ago; a hot, sunny day and pleasant speed down the motorway to Mondsee, turn left, ten minutes to Oberhofen, park the car, scrounge beer and take up a position at the top of the still very pristine and virgin-looking roofless grandstand, with a distinct feeling history was repeating itself. Having said that, this time there were even more Austria fans and travelling home supporters from Strasswalchen; the most notable of whom was Ludwig Paischer (who?), the nation’s very own pretty boy judoka.
Young Ludwig weighs approximately 63 kilos – that’s about five bags of spuds – but arrived in one of those Chelsea tractors built for transporting shire horses on the back seats, which is a bit like giving a baby a VW Golf. Anyway, VIP parking at this level just means parking next to the clubhouse, a free chicken burger, then after the game getting into a scorching hot tank and waiting fifteen minutes before the other cars have disappeared, so there was no need to be jealous.
It has to be said, at the Oberhofen ground we were again allowed the privilege of occupying the main stand. Almost every other away game we have played in the last three years has been witnessed from either the side of the pitch with no protection from the rain and no view from behind the heads of others (see Thalgau) or in cattle pens behind one of the goals (remember Plainfeld!).
And on top of the priority given to our comfort, this time there was a non-stop delivery service of beer and fizzy sticky drinks, which was gratefully received on our part, and on the part of the millions of wasps, although I suspect the hosts may have considered the logic of doubling income on the game by roasting our fans out in the sun and cooling them down with beverages. We wouldn’t have it any other way! Mad dogs and Englishmen, and of course the Austria faithful.
To the game itself. Playing in the scorching late afternoon sun may suit Brazilians and Argentineans, but pasty-faced Austrians, similar to the English, require cool, cloudy but dry October afternoons to produce their best football, so the most important thing about today’s game was always going to be a good result. After a few minutes it was clear that Strasswalchen may be involved in a relegation battle as the only means they had of getting forward were long balls and sharp passes behind our defence. Once we have realised that we can play attacking football without positioning our back four on the halfway line, we may stop conceding goals, and these were the only chances Strasswalchen had of getting anything out of the game, all of which was fortunately snuffed out by an on-form Alex Trappl.
Although Austria Salzburg were clearly dominating the game they managed to mistime enough passes in the final third of the pitch to make perfect direct shots on goal a rarity. I guess when God was handing out lungs, defender Peter Urbanek was given the lungs of a racehorse, as he was all over the pitch yesterday, despite the Saharan summer. On 30 minutes it was Urbanek, who made a ridiculously energetic run at the defence finally finding space to bang the ball home to make it 1-0 for Austria Salzburg.
The metal advertising hoardings at the top of the stand are perfect for bashing when the goals go in, but unfortunately I smashed my thumb down so hard that last night when I got home it was redder than a baboon’s arse. After that (the goal – not the thumb) the game opened up a bit, but the summer heat meant there was a lack of commitment to track back and make second runs, so at half time we had to be pleased with a clear 1-0 lead.
Two pairs of fresh legs on for Strasswalchen in the second half made it clear the only tactic they had was to score on the break, as there was no change to the shape of their game. Heli Rottensteiner replaced workhorse Stefan Leitner on 55 minutes and as Austria began to press forward, as far as we could see it was Zarko Cavic who chested in a cross from the right on 58 minutes to make it 2-0. Why the SFV website said it was a Strasswalchen own goal, I don’t know. Cavic has a chest as broad as a penalty area, so nothing that comes into the box is ever very far away from his chest. For the first time this season, although the game was long from over I couldn’t see Strasswalchen getting back into things. On 66 it was 3-0! Cavic again, this time with his feet and a run across the defence ended with a great finish – or maybe it was a brilliant own goal!
I guess Mario Milic must have picked up an injury or something. Milic worked hard all afternoon and although his final balls didn’t always lead to anything, he was always prepared to go forward and to back track afterwards, and I know of no other player in the world who can head a ball four metres above the ground. 72 mins – Mario Milic off – Mario Schleindl on. 76 goal! – Mario Schleindl – 4-0. Anyone who writes off Mario Schleindl, does so at his peril. Since the very first season in the bottom division self-appointed experts like myself have been saying Mario wouldn’t be here next year, and although there have been quantum leaps in the standard of play, Mario has also improved immensely and the more teams play the offside trap, the more Mario Schleindl will come on and score goals in the last twenty minutes when the defenders are dead on their feet.
So far this season Hallwang have turned out to be our main rivals and in three games they have not conceded a single goal, and if we have problems scoring goals against certain teams, these knife-edge games could be decided by a single goal. With this in mind there was a mix-up in defence involving the newly introduced Austria sub and within seconds Strasswalchen’s Zoister had given the pessimists food for thought. 4-1. Fortunately, any further small errors were not punished and Lubo Neubauer contributed positively to the goal difference to make it 5-1. Same place, same weather, same score, different team and different opponent, but who cares? Seen it, done it, won it!
Roger Lord
SV Straßwalchen - SV Austria Salzburg 1-5 (0-1)
Austria Salzburg played with:
Trappl; Urbanek, Wirth (78. Strauss), Pecaranin, Milic (72. Schleindl); Feldinger, Federer, Neubauer, Cavic; Leitner (55. Rottensteiner), Winkler
0-1: Urbanek (30.)
0-2: Brodinger (58., own goal)
0-3: Cavic (73.)
0-4: Schleindl (76.) (Assist: Neubauer)
1-4: Zoister (80.)
1-5: Neubauer (87.) (Assist: Winkler)
Shots total: Straßwalchen 13 / Austria 27
Shots on goal: Straßwalchen 6 / Austria 15
Shots blocked: Straßwalchen 0 / Austria 3
Corners: Straßwalchen 4 / Austria 6
Fouls: Straßwalchen 19 / Austria 21
Offsides: Straßwalchen 5 / Austria 3
Yellow cards:
Straßwalchen: 3 (Berner, 49./criticism; Mangelberger, 75./foul; Lugstein, 87./foul)
Austria: 0
Oberhofen, 1200 spectators
Ref: Louis Hofmann; Assistants: Norbert Jost, Reinhard Marcinko

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