Tonight Germany defeated Austria 1-0 in Vienna. The Austrians are out, while the Germans have made it to the quarterfinals, where they will be facing Portugal.
The current German national team started the tournament with the same charm and offensive play we remember them for in the last World Cup. After what we saw tonight, that seems ages away: we saw a German team play for the result, boringly, against a spirited but inefficient and insufficient Austria side. This German team reminds one more of the 1986 team, and one had some flashbacks to another memorable game in 1982, between the same two teams, where the result was the main thing...
Besides Ballack's amazing free-kick, which gave the Germans the victory, there was nothing really noteworthy in the German side. On the contrary: they were slow, inefficient and at times the defense looked very shaky; if the Portuguese are given the space the Austrians at times had (and wasted), they are in for a bad defeat, and Austria will not be the only Auf Wiedersehen we'll see this week!
I do hope the Germans give us some of the nice playing of what we have seen them do before, because that could make an extraordinary match against Portugal!
In the meantime, thank you and farewell to Austria.