Austria vs. Sweden

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Austria Crushed Sweden 2-1, 7 June

by Christian Hackl

They did a lap of honour, and a second, then applauded themselves, and inhaled the affection of their audience.

Austria’s national football team had just beaten the Swedish team 2-1 and fulfilled, even exceeded, their own and public expectations. The door to the World Championship in Brazil is barred no longer – rather the contrary. […]

If the Happel Stadium had been a pot filled with water, it would have boiled over. Forty-eight thousand expectant people, including 2,000 from Sweden, ensured a splendid atmosphere. The choreography was simple, in fact – thousands of red-white-red flags and flyers – but nevertheless impressive. The Austrian players inspired [their fans] with good mood, cheerfulness and passion. Their plan was to put the Swedes under pressure from the start, surprise them, aggressively pushing forward. They wanted to “Zlatanise” them. This word originates with the Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic, meaning “dominate strongly”. Even the [German dictionary] Duden knows that word.

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