Berliner AK07 – 1860 Munich

…Or the perfect way to spend a wet and miserable night in Berlin…

Cup football is back!

Do I sound like a TV advert? I make no apologies, the excitement was real!

Two months after beating Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in the first round of the German Cup LINK, Berliner AK 07 were back in cup action, this time at home to 1860 Munich of the Bundesliga 2. And if they could hammer Hoffenheim 4-0, I, for one, was expecting a good game.

All teams from the third division or lower automatically get home advantage in the cup in an attempt to level the playing field somewhat, and BAK (as a team from the fourth tier, which is split into regions (like the English system is from tier six onwards)) chose to move the game from their home stadium (the Poststadion in Moabit) to the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg area of Berlin. I assume that this was not because the team wanted to disown their roots, but because the increased demand for tickets would mean that the crowd would be easier to handle in the 19,000 capacity stadium.

As the nights have become darker, upon leaving work it was impossible not to notice the bright floodlights illuminating the night sky, as the stadium is only a few blocks away from where I’m working. This is what football’s all about. I rushed to buy a snack (a sausage, since you asked) and a beer for the short walk to the stadium, and was in a crowd outside the stadium within a few minutes.

As with the first game in the 12,000 capacity Poststadion, the home area was in the main stand, and the away section was in an opposite corner (with cheaper tickets). The difference between the two was that, in the Hoffenheim game, the ‘away’ area was a mix of fans (predominantly Berliners who wanted to see a good cup game and the big team struggle). Yesterday night, nearly all of the fans in the ‘away’ area were 1860 fans (or ‘sexy’ fans – from the German word for sixty (sechsig). You have no idea how troubling it is to hear fans continually chanting ‘sexy’ to a bloody loud drumbeat), and they were a noisy bunch.

As we got into the away section, we (naturally) headed for a beer. I don’t know if the number of fans at the was higher than unexpected, but having two staff in the beer ‘van’ (one pouring (slowly) and one distributing (slowly)) for an end holding half of the 4,500 fans was ridiculous planning. Well, so I thought until I seen some smaller, ‘one-woman’ drinks stalls at half-time as we wandered around. But I will never get that time spent waiting back again.

Football under the lights. Yesterday.

But, like I say, I didn’t realise that until too late, nor did most of the hundred or so people who got served before me. As a result, we missed the first few minutes. And then it took us a few more minutes to find seats, as most of the 1860 fans (except for the flag-waving hardcore) were stood at the back of the three blocks and across the stairwells. And then it took me a few more minutes to realise the referee was a woman. I’m telling you, it’s all action when I get to a game! Anyway, before anyone starts with the ‘sexist’ comments (which would make a welcome change from spam comments), I have nothing against women referees, and I knew she was an active referee in the German leagues. It was just weird to see one in the flesh. And she was fine, although I’m still waiting to hear if she made racist comments to the players (a bit of contextual humour there). If you wanna see her in (football) action, this is probably what she’s most famous for in Germany:

Anyway, you presumably want something like a match report. That’s not really my specialty. Something like this is my specialty. But, once again, I’ll give it a go…

The first half was pretty open with neither team really having many good chances. The BAK keeper saved a few shots well, and BAK themselves had a few chances from freekicks flung into the mixer (‘der mixer’, as it is possibly called in German). In fact BAK seemed to be looking to win freekicks around the box, going to ground quite often in key areas (although, in my experience, all German footballers do this). They had a couple of good chances from these set pieces, almost capitalising on the resulting pinball in the box, but for a few smart saves by the Munich keeper (who I would have sworn was wearing regular keeper Gabor Kiraly’s terrible tracksuit bottoms, except for the fact they were black, not soiled grey).

Gabor Kiraly’s soiled pants. A few days before yesterday.

Munich were able to split the BAK defence on the break towards the end of the first half, with Stoppelkamp (that’s a proper German name, that is) putting it past the keeper. The goal was greeted by a flare in the away end, which had the police and stewards interested, if only momentarily. And with that, the first half was pretty much over, with the visitors leading by a goal.

My beer. And my shitty trainers. Yesterday.

During the break, as we wandered to get some more beer (and a sausage, since you asked. Yes, again), the stadium announcer tried to encourage those in attendance that hope was not lost, and the loudspeakers played the specially-commissioned BAK rap song. I’ll let you judge it for yourself:

Catchy, innit?

1860 were cheered on by a very vocal crowd (including several Dynamo Berlin fans, who loudly joined in the cheering against their rivals. It must be some climbdown for the former ten-time East German champions to be playing in the tier below BAK). BAK also had noteable support with the Turkish Prime Minister in attendance, presumably to support the home team, which has both German and Turkish roots.

In the second half, Munich eased into control, coping with the slippy conditions better than their hosts. BAK still put themselves about, but began to tire more noticeably. Their build-up play lacked the final pass, and the players often ran into trouble trying to make the yard of space needed to have a shot. 1860 scored a deserved second after an hour, although their third, from a breakaway near full-time, was harsh on the hosts.

It’s a shame that their cup adventure ended so soon after such a famous victory. But if they win the Berlin Cup this year, they will (hopefully) be able to shock a few more big names next year.

BAK: Kisiel; Altiparmak, Teichmann, Gerlach, Krstic; Yigitoglu (Akgün), Siemund; Avcioglu (Makangu), Blazynski, Kruschke (Malinowski); Cakmak

1860: Ochs; Schindler, Bülow, Vallori, Volz; Bierofka (Makos), Stahl (Nicu); Stoppelkamp, Halfar; Lauth (Tomasov), Blanco

Attendance: 4,500


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Berliner AK07 – Hoffenheim

…Or we support our local team…

I’m not dead.

This post is partly to confirm that I’m still alive, and partly as testament to a cracking afternoon in the Berlin sun.

Problem is, I was tweeting during the game, and most of what I said there (if you read it) is very similar to what I would write here. If you didn’t read it, you can check out my Twitter timeline here.

To be honest, I only knew this game was taking place as I seen an advert on the way to work.

Berliner AK 07 are my ‘local’ team, I would guess, being based in the Poststadion in Moabit, and play in the fourth tier of German football (as far as I can work out, as below the third tier it goes into regional divisions).

Hoffenheim, while not a huge club, have been a fixture in the Bundesliga recently, and are famous for having a stadium with a greater capacity than the population of the town. Supported by their rich benefactor, they have become a mid-table force in the German Bundesliga.

Still not heard of them? Liverpool sold Ryan Babel to them.

No? Markus Babbel is the manager.

Still!?? Ok,it’s where West Ham signed Demba Ba from.

That’s as much detail as you’re getting as I’m lazy. So, to distract you from that, here’s a pic of their fans before kick-off.

Hoffenheim fans before kick-off. Yesterday. The day before today.

Look at them there, with their flags. They had no idea what was about to happen.

Anyway, as I was (probably) saying, the Poststadion is not far from me, so I wandered down there to check out the first round of the German Cup, mainly as I had time to kill until Toon beat Spurs.

I had a ticket for the away end, which was really just a mix of football fans, with maybe 200 Hoffenheim fans, all told, together somewhere in the middle. As there were no set places, people could sit or stand where they wanted, so I chose to stand leaning against a fence at the back of the corner, about level with the six yard line. Mainly so I could get some pictures for you lot.

I’m nice like that, you see.

Me getting pictures for you lot. Yesterday. The day before yesterday.

Hoffenheim started slowly, with no real fluency in their passing or movement, and the Berlin club were a lot more fluid and fast, which was a bit of a surprise, especially in 34-degree sunshine. In fact, if I was being generous to Hoffenheim, I would say the match balls used looked a bit flat, and the grass seemed a bit long.

But where would the fun be in that?

There’s little excuse for Hoffenheim’s sloppy play, and Berlin took the lead after 3 minutes when a volley from a half-cleared corner looped over keeper Tim Wiese (hair grease shining in the midday sun) and in off the bar.

Hoffenheim never really got going and Berlin deservedly added a second after half an hour, which I didn’t really catch as I was waiting for a beer. The beer van was behind the goal, and separated by a fence and advertising hoardings, so all I could really see is the lad’s head bearing down on goal, occasionally blocked by Tim Wiese’s greasy head. Then Wiese’s head dropped down, and the Berlin lad’s head broke into a smile as he ran off to celebrate.

You don’t get descriptions like that in The Times do you?

Berlin’s left winger, who had a canny game against Alexander Beck (who I rate) managed to break through just before half-time, and saw Wiese get a hand to his placed shot, which then rolled in-off the post in what felt like some kind of The Matrix slow-motion sequence.

Half time came with most of the people in the ‘guest stand’ in disbelief and very cheerful moods, with the exception of the Hoffenheim fans who were in disbelief and rage, with several climbing the fence to shout at their under-performing players.

To be fair, their fans were noisy all through the first half, albeit using the same three or four songs, but come the second half they had fallen into shocked silence.

I was busy catching my breath at halftime (and drinking beer) when a load of police came running past me to the area where the Hoffenheim fans were. The general conversation was that a smoke bomb had been let off.

Police presence at Poststadion. Not the riot police. Yesterday. If today was Sunday.

A few minutes later, the riot police were in front of me, which was quite surreal as I was enjoying my midday beer and keeping the good folks of Twitter updated. I was starting to get worried as I was trapped between them and the fence, but after a few mins (and one of the women coppers had finished her tab), they marched on in the same direction.

They returned a few minutes later with about six students, none of whom were Hoffenheim fans, and escorted them to the far corner (near the beer stand), from where they were forced to watch the rest of the match.

No idea why, mind.

Investigative journalism at its finest.

In all the excitement, I missed Tim Wiese (who seems to be universally disliked) pass his goal kick straight to Berlin’s striker, who put it past him into the corner to complete the rout after 50 minutes.


This is why I love football, as it throws up such moments of joy and disbelief. The German Cup actually saw quite a few shocks over the weekend, as all teams playing in the third division or lower have the right to play their tie at home if they play one of the ‘big boys’, which evens the (long-grass) field somewhat.

For the rest of the game, Hoffenheim pushed forward without looking threatening (with the exception of the tricky Usami, who was brought on at half-time), and Berlin broke often, without being able to add to their lead.

In fact, Erin Derdiyok (who Toon were linked to) played the whole game for Hoffenheim, and I didn’t realise until about halfway through the second half.

At the final whistle, the whole ground (including a few Hoffenheim fans) applauded, the Berlin players celebrated, and the highly-paid professionals trudged off the pitch without a murmur.

What more could you ask for?

Celebrate good times, come on! It’s a celebration.Yesterday. But the day before that.

And if that didn’t sum-up the game very well, you can catch the highlights here:

Berlin: Kisiel; Lichte, Osadchenko, Gerlach, Krstic; Brandt, Siemund; Altiparmak (Mießner), Malinowski, Kruschke (Blazynski); Cakmak (Avcioglu)

Hoffenheim: Wiese; Beck, Vestergaard, Delpierre, Thesker; Rud (Usami), Weis; Vukcevic (Salihovic), Volland, Firmino (Schipplock); Derdiyok

Attendance: 1,468

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Why The mackems Hate Shola

…Or how to stoke up tension before a derby game…

I can be topical. See this here, I wrote this at Christmas. Very topical I thought.

I also don’t always compare Shola to superheroes or the greatest strikers in the world. I can also do stuff like this here.

Ok, that was the same link as before, but I did five fucking instalments! In the age of blogging, that was like Homer’s fucking Odyssey!

Anyhoo, back on to the main reason I’m here.

The Tyne – Wear derby.

Everyone knows that it is coming up this Sunday, even those living in a box (hello my readers in sunderland!)

And Ameobi 1.0 is rightly worshipped across the world, except in the small patch of wasteland not far south of God’s greatest city and the hometown of Jesus (the early Christians who wrote the Bible moved the action from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to Jerusalem to try and get a hold on the lucrative Middle East market).

So why do these poor souls from sunderland hate Ameobi 1.0 so much? I’ll give you five reasons.

1. Because he’s from a better city.

I say city, as that is what Newcastle is. albania on Wear, being a town, can’t rightly compare. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Guns and butter. Yohan Cabaye and Lee Cattermole. Even if we set aside the requirements for a city, which everyone who calls the village of the damned a city does, it is just a poor imitation. Where is the mainline train station? Where is the airport (or, to give it its full name, the Newcastle Foluwashola Ameobi International Airport)? That’s right. To get to sunderland from anywhere civilised, you have to pass through Newcastle. That’s like walking through a high class brothel to go to the school dinner lady’s bedroom for sex. If the dinner lady was a cousin.

Anyway, I digress. As a representative of all that is good about Newcastle, they focus their envy-fuelled hatred on the Benton Baggio.

2. Because he is responsible for the Metro.

I know what you’re thinking. Actually, I probably don’t. But still, if you’re anything like me, you must think I’ve been smoking crack. The Metro system opened in 1980 – Shola was created as part of a genetic experiment in 1981. How does that work Neil?

I’ll tell you.

In 2002, when the Gosforth Garrincha was busy scoring at the Nou Camp and proving that football was too easy for him, he decided, as a side-hobby, to part-fund the expansion of the Metro system south of Gateshead into the heart of albania on Wear.

Us on the north side of the divide were outraged. We didn’t want it made easier for them to reach Newcastle and its range of national and international transport hubs.

But, as he so always is, the Ridges Rivaldo was several steps ahead of us (in an offside position). By making it so easy for the underprivileged to reach the cradle of civilisation, it would reinforce their awareness of how pitiful their existences were.

We shouldn’t complain. We should be happy that they go back home and have to compare their monotonous village existence with that of a thriving metropolis.

They hate him for this reminder of their inadequacy.

3. He hates red and white stripes.

A picture paints a thousand words, so the old saying goes.

Ameobi 1.0 laughing like a fat lad in a toffee factory at the idea of playing for Stoke.

You know why the Pendower Pele’s loan move at Stoke didn’t work out? Aside from the fact he plays like a chilled-out Brazilian, and not Robert Huth?

Because he hates red and white stripes. It’s like a shark sniffing blood in the water. He sees a red and white striped shirt, and the only thing that can stop him tearing the head of its wearer and devouring their soul is the act of scoring a goal. It’s like classical music to his tortured soul.

So why did he go to Stoke, I hear you ask?

It was a dare. We all know Shola loves a good game of truth or dare, and someone thought he would be fazed by taking his ball skills to Stoke City Rugby Club. He wasn’t. Because he is better than Stoke.

And the mackems hate that.

4. He’s scored more goals in European football than their whole team.

Total number of goals in European football:

sunderland afc – five

The Wansbeck Weah – twelve.

That’s right, the Fenham Eusebio has scored over twice as many goals in European football as a whole fucking team has in its entire history!

What is there to like about that if you’re from the village of the damned?

5. If a picture paints a thousand words, how many words are these videos worth?

Game on.

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