They sang from the bottom of their heart “God Save the Queen”, the members of the Austro-British Society gathered at the home of the Society, the Café Ministerium, on this Sunday evening – all of them hoping that football might come home, after England was World Football Champion in 1966 and never again since – and the ABS support obviously helped as the match started 1-0 for the team of England. And after this first 2 minutes of the match, it seemed to go into the right direction. Confidently we all expected interesting 90 minutes. But the longer the 1sthalf lasted, the more doubts came across, if this is enough for a win. 24% ball possession of the English vs. the 76% of the guys in blue, from a country somewhere in the south of Europe spoke a frightening language. Hardly any good combination – not to speak about the absence of serious chances to score a goal – was the result of this tactics while feeling an ever-increasing pressure of the gentlemen from Pizzaland.

Hence, some members saw their bets already in danger because also on this occasion, all of them placed their bets prior the start of the match. Unbelievably some future-ex-members betted for a Azzuri-win (more to follow after the next ABS boardmeeting, where this betting behavior of some will seriously be discussed)… ;-))))

After empowering us all with a delicious chicken-curry in the halftime-break, the match continued and it happened what must have happened, as Mr. Southgates team had decided not to change their tactics at all. The players even hadn’t thought about the cute little Prince George and the pain he might have felt, when seeing the 1-1 to happen. From this very moment many of the ABS member stated that this will end up in a penalty shootout. And so, it happened and the rest is history… Surprisingly, the gentlemen who experienced a net playing time of 2 min. between coming on the pitch for substituting other players and the end of the extra-time, wasn’t enough for them to find their pace and confidence and hence, it was 3:5 – and suddenly it was clear: Football is coming… Rome… PS: There are rumors that England only lost to be mostly polite to one of the ABS guests who joined from the Austro-Italian Society. As he rewarded us with a glass of champagne, we only can say: Well done, England!

By Jochen Ressel