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Photo by Ian Stenhouse
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It sounds trite to say it, to type it, whatever, but sometimes the hardest thing to do is getting out of a rut. It’s not simply a case of lying in the gutter whilst staring at the stars (as a famous man once said). Focus on the kerb first. Sod the stars, they can come later on, after you’ve made that first, stuttering, Bambi-on-ice—esque step.
BFC Dynamo did just that on Sunday afternoon in front of 378 fans at the Sportforum against a team from the "other" Frankfurt, FSV Union Fürstenwalde. They had to. After falling 0-1 and 1-2 down, knowing the only reason that they were in that position at all was because of errors of concentration and stupid mistakes, they were all too aware that they hadn't come from behind to win yet this season at all. Not once. Coach Igor Lazic knew that he had to somehow get his players to forget that at half time, he had to help them get over the mental hurdles as well as the physical one, who were happily keeping themselves warm in the muddy changing room next door.
FSV had started brightly, passing the ball incisively, and with a keen outlet on the right hand side in Maik Haubitz, a man who barely looks his 19 years of age, but who played (in the first half at least) like a gnarled old pro. He snapped into tackles, but was happy to run with the ball at his feet – his only sign of weakness being the gloves that added an extra air of vulnerability. He looks so young it wouldn't have been amiss if they were linked together with elastic going up the arms.
Then, on the opposite side of the pitch, Dynamo's Richard Steiner started taking control of the match. It was as if he was sending out a message to his own players as well as the opposition. He rolled his sleeves up and started a lovely move in midfield with Sven Martin and Norbert Lemcke, carrying on his run into the box to get the ball back, but shot weakly. That he then contrived to get himself booked on the half hour whilst arguing with the referee was another sign for his teammates to step.
And step up they did, Özgür Özvatan and Martin robbed Haubitz on the left as the kid tried to get too tricky for the Oberliga. Özvatan took a step and hit a delicious in swinging left footed cross which dropped like a penny from heaven onto the head of Matthias Steinborn for the equaliser.
There was a certain inevitability that barely a minute after the restart from the goal dynamo found themselves again in the gutter, again dreaming of the stars when they should have been keeping things tight going into half-time. It was that boy again, Haubitz, who with one whoosh of his boot, aided by a slight deflection, hit a 20-yarder to make it 2-1 for FSV. Resounding is the word, boof was the sound.
As "Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment" by the Ramones played over the crackly PA during the interval it was easy to remark that shock treatment is what the Dynamo players needed, and what the fans were desperate for. It is one thing to lose, but this seemed so needless. If only they had kept their heads.
Dynamo roared back into the game, with the second half bearing no resemblance to the first. They controlled the midfield, and kept the ball much better. The fans found their voices, and the GDR's record champions were finally looking like a coherent team. Steiner deserved both his headed goals to pull back the deficit, and then overtake it. The fans could leave happy, that they had watched their side finally show some mettle, in the midst of a season that does disservice to the word underwhelming. The voices rang around the emptying old open expanse of the Sportforum, and the pictures of older, more glorious times in the bar could be looked upon once again with a little bit of pride.
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