Former Austrian coach Senekowitsch dies at 73

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Reuters

VIENNA — Austrian former national coach Helmut Senekowitsch, a hero in his country for leading the side to victory over West Germany during the 1978 World Cup, died on Sunday, the Austrian soccer association (OeFB) said. Senekowitsch, 73, who earned 18 caps for Austria between 1957 and 1968, became the country’s national coach in 1976.

In a match hailed by Austrians as the highlight of their soccer history, Senekowitsch’s team unexpectedly beat arch-rivals West Germany 3-2 in the second-round group in Argentina.

The result shattered the then-world champions’ hopes of progressing further and Argentina went on to win the trophy.

Senekowitsch left his position after the World Cup and went on to coach several clubs including Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt and to work in Spain, Mexico and Greece.

In his memory, a minute’s silence would be observed ahead of Austria’s friendly against Chile in Vienna on Tuesday, the OeFB said in its statement.