Team Germany captures first ever IFAF Men’s European Flag Football title with nail biting win over Austria

Germany are the IFAF Men’s European Flag Football champions for the first time after a thrilling 36-28 win over Austria in the Gold Medal game in Sunday evening in Ireland.

The tournament’s only two unbeaten teams went toe to toe with a series of spectacular touchdown passes to delight a boisterous crowd at the University of Limerick.

Quarterbacks Benjamin Klever of Germany and Austria’s Daniel Gaiger traded one highlight reel pass after another and when it came to a difference-maker, Germany had wide receiver Fabian Achenbach whose four-touchdown MVP performance proved the difference between two closely matched teams.

“I can’t really describe this,” said winning German quarterback Klever. “We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. I’ve been playing for the national team for 16 years and we’ve been close and we’ve had good years, and this year it was our time.

“I knew if we played as well as we can we could beat Austria. Obviously, they’re a good team, especially on defense and we just balled out on both sides of the ball and won.

“Now we have to go to the world championship to defend the European championship and we have high hopes against the great teams from overseas, so that’s our goal. We’ll keep improving our game. That’s what we’ve been doing the last three years since we started with this coaching group.”

Photo: Ian Humes

Germany’s defense stepped up early on with an interception from Oliver Braunsdorf, which led to Achenbach’s touchdown catch opening up a 6-0 lead. Sebastian Marlot was an offensive threat throughout for Austria and leveled the score with an impressive grab at the back of the end zone, but Luis Valdigem soon restored Germany’s lead at 13-6.

Back came Austria with another Marlot score which was answered by Germany’s Klever to Achenbach connection. Gaiger then found Daniel Hochleitner to level the contest at 20-20, and Austria looked to have stopped Germany on fourth down until a penalty presented time for one final play with three seconds to go. Achenbach reeled in a spectacular grab from Klever to open a 28-20 halftime lead.

After their defense had held, Germany opened a two-score lead through Achenbach’s fourth touchdown of the game. Down 36-20, Austria stalled when Kai Singer came up with an interception for Germany, but Austria reduced the deficit through another Marlot touchdown and a two-point catch by Benedikt Wolf before Germany saw out the clock.

Michael Preston (@PRMikePreston) is currently working with IFAF in a PR capacity. He recently covered Super Bowl LVII as a member of the NFL PR team as he has done for 20+ years. He has held communications positions with NFL Europe, the North