Monday, August 20, 2007


Wednesday's game takes place at the Ullevi stadium in Göteborg (pictured above), which is only a short walk from the hotel. The Ullevi is the home of IFK Göteborg and Örgyte IS, but perhaps its most famous soccer match involved neither of these teams. In Euro ‘92, which Sweden hosted, the Ullevi played host to the final where Denmark defeated powerhouse Germany, 2-0. At least until Greece made a similar run in the 2004 tournament, Denmark’s victory was considered the most unlikely ever seen in the competition. Initially, they weren’t even supposed to be in the tournament, but qualified after forced withdrawal of Yugoslavia due to political unrest in the country. Luckily for us (and we're guessing some of you, too) who were too young to experience the match firsthand, the legacy is duly upheld with this fantastic highlight video.

And speaking of politics, that Euro ‘92 tournament, interestingly enough, featured the one and only appearance at a major competition by the CIS, or the Commonwealth of Independent States. The CIS was formed after the breakdown of the Soviet Union, and consisted of the eleven states that were borne out of the USSR’s demise. The team unluckily crashed out in the group stage, going 0-2-1. In fact, the CIS soccer team only existed for about six months before its constituents broke off into separate teams. In that time, however, it played the U.S. MNT twice, including in its first-ever match on January 25, 1992. That match in Miami, Fla., was also assistant coach Mike Sorber’s first of 67 caps for the MNT.

Whew. That’s enough history for today.

1 comment:

Colin said...

In 1992 Danish voters also rejected the Maastricht Treaty which would have made them full members in the EU. That, combined with the Euro soccer championship that year, prompted the Danish foreign minister to quip, "If you can't join them, beat them."