Austria blocks out melee

GEORGE GROSS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:06 AM ET

Psychological influence will be evident on Austria's under-20 World Cup team in today's bronze-medal game against the temperamental squad from Chile.

Following the black-eye performance by everybody involved in Thursday's fiasco following the Argentina-Chile contest at the National Soccer Stadium, Austrian coach Paul Gludowatz was well aware he had to prepare his players mentally for the match.

Besides being a top hockey coach, Gludowatz is also a teacher by profession. Following yesterday's practice, one found out how he tutors his proteges in view of Thursday's fracas between Chile and Argentina.

FORGET IT

"First of all, we have to discard everything that happened Thursday night," Gludowatz said. "We have to play at least as well as when we tied them 0-0 in the qualifying round. South Americans are just that way, particularly when they are rivals.

"Before we came to Canada, I never thought we would get to a medal game. The Chileans had some fans against Canada. Then their support grew for the second game and more so for the third game. But some of them cheered our team"

What about the Czech team's chances against Argentina?

"There are two teams with very good midfielders." said Gludowatz. "That will decide the game. I think the Czech team has a very good chance of upsetting Argentina."

To which Czech coach Miroslav Soukup would only say: 'Amen.'

BATA SIGNALLED FAMOUS GOAL

Rudi Bata, the 80-year-old head of the Czech Under-20 FIFA World Cup team, is known in Canada as the hockey referee who practically single-handedly refereed Summit Series' eighth and deciding game in Moscow 35 years ago. When East German referee Jozef Kompala sent Canada's Jean-Paul Parise to the showers and all hell broke out, Kompala stopped blowing his whistle and it was Bata who signalled Paul Henderson's historic goal.

"Yesterday, I visited the Hockey Hall of Fame" he said. "It was nice to see Swedish referee Uwe Dahlberg inducted into the Hall."

It was obvious he was disappointed not having found his name among the honourees at the Hall.

How did he become head of a Czech soccer delegation?

"The age limit for referees in ... in those days was 50," he said. "I received a call from sports minister Himl, who offered me the job of general secretary of the soccer association. He gave me a week to make up my mind, but told me he wouldn't accept no for an answer."


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