ECJ2000: Austria shocks Russians

Category: - published 2000-08-01 by EFAF

Tournament newcomers Austria pulled off the shock of the championships so far with a 27-16 victory over Russia to spark joyous scenes at the Wilmersdorf Stadium in Berlin and force a potential tie in Group B.

Should Russia beat last year's finalists France on Thursday, the trio will be locked with a 1-1 record and will rely on points differential to break the tie and determine which nation progresses to Saturday's final.

Earlier in Group A Great Britain suffered its second defeat of the tournament in a 31-0 loss to Finland, whose wide receiver Henri Myohanen scored two touchdowns and the Finns returned a pair of interceptions to the end zone.

Only a 25-yard field goal from Russia's Anton Paramonov separated them from Austria at halftime, though Russia's scoring drive might have ended in a long touchdown reception for Evgueni Chekhov but for an illegal block in the back by one of his blockers.

Defensive back Denis Tiapaev intercepted Austrian quarterback Christian Kranz in the first half, but Russia was unable to capitalize and Austria fell short when a bad snap hampered a 51-yard field goal attempt by Nikolaus Gutmann.

Austria grabbed the lead in the second half after wide receiver Florian Morth made an impressive reception to give his team the ball deep inside the red zone and running back Florian Grein charged into the endzone for a 7-3 advantage.

Russia did not trail for long and quarterback Evgueni Sigaev fired a 50-yard completion to wideout Iouri Ignatkov to take the ball to the Austria two-yard mark and at the second attempt sneaked over himself to swing the score 10-7 in Russia's favor.

The lead continued to change hands with every score as Austria passer Kranz aired it out 69 yards for Wolfrum Hofbauer to beat coverage and race untouched for a spectacular touchdown.

The extra point flew wide and Russia hit straight back when Chekhov broke into open field from 47 yards out and gave his team a 16-13 lead as the extra point was blocked.

Austria then took control as a repeat of the earlier scoring play saw Hofbauer race clear on a superb 98-yard touchdown reception, then after Russia suffered a bad snap on a punt Austria pounced with a 19-yard Grein touchdown run and a 27-16 advantage. Two Austrian interceptions ended Russia's brave comeback attempts.
Article by : Micheal Preston

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