'The Sound of Defeat'

Czech Republic's Thomas Micola celebrates his goal against Austria during FIFA U-20 semifinal match...

Czech Republic's Thomas Micola celebrates his goal against Austria during FIFA U-20 semifinal match in Edmonton on Wednesday. (Sun Media/Jason Franson)

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

The hills were alive with the sound of ausfahrting.

There was nothing to sing about as Austria followed the ausfahrt sign to exit from gold-medal contention at the FIFA U-20 World Cup last night.

It would have been memorable if the ultimate underdog to reach the final four in the event - a nation which had never won a game in the history of this tournament until they defeated Canada here in group play - had won.

DO NOT ENTER

But Austria was never in danger of following the sign marked "eingang" to enter Sunday's final in Toronto.

While the Austrians are still taking the trip to play the loser of tonight's Argentina-Chile match in the bronze-medal game, it's the Czech Republic going for gold.

The only question for the Czechs last night was if they'd go from being accused by Spain of not trying to score to running up the score.

A couple of quicks by Tomas Micola and Martin Fenin in the fourth and 15th minutes gave the Czechs one more goal than the number of shots Austria would to get in this game.

Instead, the Czechs went back to playing their Spain kill-the-game game. And again, there was nothing to watch here.

"It's a pity that after 15 minutes the match was decided," said Austrian coach Paul Gludovatz after the 2-0 defeat.

"Thanks to the fantastic crowd in Edmonton," he said of the 28,401 who showed up to see a semifinal which lived down to its billing.

FINE SHOWING

"It hurts me that we couldn't succeed. But one single loss won't change anything about this. I am proud. I was already proud before the game.

"Everything we have brought on the field until now has been memorable. We missed a medal the first chance. Hopefully we'll make the second chance."

With both these teams having never made it this far in the FIFA U-20 World Cup going into the game, obviously it's an accomplishment for the Czechs to get to the final.

But coach Miroslav Soukup said the extent of the accomplishment is massive.

"I think this is one of the greatest accomplishments in the entire history of Czech soccer. In all history, only twice has a Czech soccer team made it to the final of a world championship."

Back in 1962, then Czechoslovakia, lost 3-1 to Brazil in the World Cup final in Santiago, Chile.

At least some history was made here.

GOOD CROWD

While the crowd count increased Edmonton's attendance to 245,783 - 30,000 more than the number Toronto will put up with more games - once again there wasn't much to watch.

Other than a moment here and a moment there, fewer memories were made here than at any other venue.

Last night was the final installment of what was more often than not an excruciating and exasperating experience.

It all goes back to the Canadian Soccer Association snub of their long-time go-to city by giving the final and the opening Canadian game to Toronto in a political play to build a stadium.

Allan Bolstad and his original Edmonton organizing committee resigned and a significant part of the population swore they wouldn't go to a game.

Then the games came.

FOUL AFTER FOUL

There was the friendly with the Czechs, with perhaps the most abysmal promotion for a game ever held here with the Canadian team's bus taking off, leaving the media without being able to talk to players once the game was called off after 54 minutes due to lightning and a torrential downpour.

There was the massive ticketing fiasco which kept half the fans of a crowd of 31,579 outside the stadium for a group game with Austria.

There was Canada without a win and the first team not to score a goal as host of the event. It went on and on.

Unlike the FIFA U-19 Women's World Championships, which will be remembered with a great glow here for years and years, in Edmonton this event will be forgotten fast.


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