The dream of gold became reality

The dream of gold became reality
Confetti shower and silverware: exuberant atmosphere in St. Pölten (APA/Steinmaurer)

A long-held wish has become reality: Austria’s national football team has been crowned European champions for the first time after two silver medals in 2014 and 2018. And all this in a confident manner in front of a stately backdrop. The red-white-red team outclassed Finland in the NV Arena in St. Pölten in front of 6,419 enthusiastic visitors (including political celebrities such as Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler and Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner) 28:0 (0:0, 7:0, 7:0, 14:0).

Wide receiver Philipp Haun was named player of the afternoon, catching three touchdown passes and recording 124 receiving yards.

“We were always able to take the audience with us; our fans had a huge influence on the outcome,” said the “MVP”. “It’s wonderful that all of us who have been involved in this long journey together are getting a nice European Championship ring. I think we really deserve it,” said Haun: “We knew that if we played at our level , no one can beat us.”

Head coach Max Sommer was enormously relieved: “It’s a fantastic day in the association’s history. This conclusion with a great team that has developed so well and is so close together is very special. It fills me with pride to be the head coach who finally completed this project.”

His counterpart Mikko Koikkalainen took off his hat to the Austrians: “Congratulations, they were better. The audience had a big influence. The people were so loud that our calls (announcing the moves from outside, note) were difficult to understand.”

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