Monday, 9 June 2008

Poland Dodgy At The Bak

After the Austria v Croatia game we set off immediately on the walk from West Kensington to Octoberfest at Fulham Broadway. When we arrived there was a queue and people were handing over tickets but we thought we'd try our luck anyway. When we reached the front of the queue, the bouncer paused to think for a while, performed some mental arithmetic and then decided to let us in. It was already fairly packed with a really good atmosphere and filled up a bit more in the minutes leading up to the match.

We managed to wedge ourselves in quite a good spot at the side behind some of the seats, with a great view of the screen and all the German fans, but with no room to move a muscle...

At couple of minutes into the game, a member of staff went through the seated area at the front of the room telling anyone who was standing to sit down so that everyone else could see properly; a fine example of German efficiency.

The 2-0 scoreline was a fair reflection of the game. Poland's defensive line was particularly dubious in the first half, which flattered their opposition but the Germans did move the ball around midfield effectively. Poland made a couple of good chances but failed to capitalise and never really looked like bothering the Germans.

The fans were enthusiastic and good-natured throughout, and seemed particularly pleased when Shweinsteiger came on. There was a worrying moment late in the second half when they seemed to be chanting something about Hitler which prompted worried glances between us non-Germans. A nearby German told us they were simply asking for more goals, which would be something like "mehr Ziele" according to Babelfish, which sounds feasible so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Octoberfest was a brilliant venue with a really good atmosphere and I'd be keen to go back during the tournament or indeed after.

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