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Foreigners in Germany Dejected by Country's Euro Performance

Foreigners in Germany were left disappointed on Monday night after the Germany national soccer team put up a lackluster performance in its 1-0 win over Euro 2008 co-hosts Austria.

Michael Ballack

Ballack's stunning free-kick was the only highlight of an otherwise dull game

Most of these foreign nationals from Asia and Africa had joined Germans in various parts of the country's many outdoor soccer viewing spots, hoping to get a taste of what it feels to belong to a winning team in a major tournament since their adopted country enjoyed a pre-tournament billing as one of the favorites to land the title.

They had hoped that for once, they would be able to celebrate a major international tournament victory since most of them come from small countries unlikely to entertain any hopes of winning a major soccer tournament. In Germany, they had a realistic chance of such a celebration but were left a little disappointed by Germany's performance on Monday night.

Germany fans at the Euro 2008

Some Germany fans didn't seem too upset by their side's insipid performance

"There is not much to celebrate, because the real test of character starts in the next round when we will face Portugal. I guess we lost the plot when we lost to Croatia, it might just be the end of the road because it is going to be a really tough game against Portugal, we might just need something special or we kiss good buy to this tournament," said a Germany soccer fan from Asia in a neighborhood in the northern part of the western German city of Bonn.

Another Germany supporter, originally from Ghana, had a different view.

"The match was not bad at all, these guys played very well considering what was at stake, I guess they have a chance to go far," said Kwaku Tchite, a Ghanaian national living in Bonn.

Luck and drama

Others pointed out the game certainly contained enough drama to make up for the poor quality of the soccer.

"I have never seen so much football drama in my life," said Menzi Dlamini, a journalist from Swaziland currently living in Berlin. Dlamini was referring to the referee's decision to give send off both the Germany and Austrian soccer coaches to the stands for arguing with the assistant referee.

Josef Hickersberger and Joachim Loew

Austria coach Hickersberger, left, and Germany's Loew created a stir at the game

For Sharma Sharirriff, who comes from Yemen but currently in Bonn where is studying medicinal sciences, it all had to do with how the Germany team reacted to pressure and tried to absorb it.

"I think the team just failed to handle the pressure that comes with such a big game with huge expectations from fans," Sharirriff said. "This was evident when the Germany coach failed to handle the pressure from the Austrian coach who was clearly playing mind games."

Kumbirai Mafunda, a Zimbabwean student in Berlin, said the German side were lucky to have made it to the quarterfinals.

"The Germany team could have wrapped up the game in the first half but missed several chances and that proved to be their undoing," Mafunda said.

"In matches like these you don't miss so many chances and expect to win, they should just count themselves lucky."

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