User:Gladstone/UnNews:Sport: Germany vs Soviet Union

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22 June 2008

Sport UnNews:

2008 UEFA Championship Football: Germany 0 - 1 Soviet Union

News Photo-Germany01SovietUnion

Sepp Blatter is presented to the German team before kick-off

In a remarkable game of two halves played out over the harsh realities of a bitter Soviet winter, a resilient Russian team were once again able to sucker the unfortunate Germans with a counter punch, in their greatest victory since the last minute defeat of Bonaparte’s all conquering French maestros.

The stage had been set for this tie the previous winter; following close relations between the two teams agreement with UEFA had required that the teams could not meet. However, that accord was dramatically breached by the German FA in the challenge laid down to the unfancied Soviets, creating the biggest grudge match since the third Wanderers vs Royal Engineers FA Cup Final of 1878.

The ambitious Germans stated brightly, with a front-line heavy formation similar to that used against the hapless Belgians in the previous round. Quickly gaining a significant territorial advantage, the Germans were nevertheless frustrated by the spoiling tactics of the Bolshy Russians, whose wanton destruction of the pitch angered the Swiss referee.

Following the establishment of their tactical advantage, after only a few minutes the Germans laid siege to the Russian goalkeeper Lenin Grad, bombarding his ramparts from all angles and effectively keeping his Russian defenders out of the game. However, manager Stalin was able to rely on his experienced central defenders Voroshilov, Zhukov and Govorov, and by the end of the first half the Russian goalkeeper was once again able to link up with his colleagues to relieve some of the pressure.

From the beginning of the second half, the German dominance began to wane. Formerly effective at the back, the Italian born defender B Mussolini was sent off, and the Germans were forced to reshuffle their troops to plug the back line. Meanwhile, the paucity of the German bench was exposed compared to their red opponents, with the Russian substitutes able to reinvigorate their front line against the now tired Germans.

With about 15 minutes to go, the score of this bruising encounter was still nil all, though it was just a matter of time before the red-shirted Cossacks broke down the defences of their black-shirted opponents. By the time the knockout blow finally came just before the final whistle, the dejected Germans were ready to put the white flag up and surrender, with manager Hitler ready to fall on his own sword. Fittingly, the winning goal was a team effort, as Zhukov beat Heinrici on the left before crossing to Konev on the right; his surge towards the Berlin goal allowed CHUIKOV to beat the offside trap and finish the squared ball.

Semi-final draw:

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