Tuesday 14th June

Berlin, Hamm, Dortmund, Hamm

Group A FIFA WM Stadion Dortmund 21.00

Germany v Poland

I mentioned earlier the exorbitant prices some hotels were charging. Coupled with this  was a stipulation that you also had to book a minimum of three nights in some places. As a result of a compromise I ended up booking three nights in Berlin in one place, as it was cheaper than one night at the other options I had found.   So despite having accomodation in Berlin I set off for Dortmund as I had managed to get a ticket for the Germany v Poland match. All the talk before was of high security and a good chance of a major incident. Although there was a higher police presence in the city all the bars were open, the Fan Fest was packed and everyone was singing and dancing in the streets.   It is normal practice for  German football fans to be walking down the road carrying a crate of beer to any Bundesliga match. I thought that the police may have clamped down on this behaviour but they are very relaxed and life continues as normal.   Before the match chants of Ecuador rang out as the Germans revelled in the situation their opponents found themselves in. The game itself was tense and as time wore on the Poles started to look for a goal that could have been their lifeline. Twice breaking down the left flank, cynical German fouls stopped promising attacks and resulted in bookings. The next foul committed by a Pole resulted in a booking, his second and the game swung towards Germany.   The euphoria after the game, fuelled by Coke (ads) which as you may have seen predict victory in Berlin and remind Germans that statistically speaking every time the World Cup is held in Germany that they win. Led to chants of “Germany, World Champions” and “Berlin, Berlin we’re going to Berlin”.   In addition to this German fans already have flags printed with ‘The Wonder of Berlin’, and someone sat nearby me had the German flag painted on their face with 4 stars.   Having seen their performance I can clarify that, yes they are going to Berlin. But only to play Ecuador in the final group match if they don’t show more imagination.