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Malmö history makers recall Austria Wien win

UEFA.com talks to the former Malmö FF players who overcame FK Austria Wien the last time the sides met, in a semi-final in which Bob Houghton's team achieved a Swedish first.

Bob Houghton was just 31 when he led Malmö to the 1979 European Cup final
Bob Houghton was just 31 when he led Malmö to the 1979 European Cup final ©Getty Images

Malmö FF host FK Austria Wien in a UEFA Europa League Group G tie sure to evoke memories for both sides. Back in April 1979, the teams met in the European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-finals, with the Swedish outfit – under English manager Bob Houghton – battling through to the final thanks to Tommy Hansson's solitary goal 47 minutes into the home second leg. Though they then lost 1-0 to Nottingham Forest FC in the only European Cup final to feature a Swedish side, their achievement has not been forgotten, as UEFA.com discovers.

Jan-Olov Kindvall, Malmö midfielder
We knew we had a chance. We'd knocked out some good teams along the way. Austria Wien had several Austrian internationals who had done well in the 1978 World Cup. The Austria team that played us had Herbert Prohaska as playmaker and Walter Schachner on the wing, but our team had a lot of international experience too.

For the second leg, Malmö Stadion was packed – 25,000 was the biggest home crowd I'd played in front of. We'd seen there was growing interest from fans and media as we progressed. After drawing 0-0 against Monaco in the first round, just one or two journalists travelled for the away leg. Come the semi-final, we were national news. I remember our goal well. The free-kick was taken by 'Puskás' [Anders Ljungberg] halfway into their half. The ball floated over and Tommy Hansson headed it in. We probably peaked against Austria. By the final, we had been weakened by injuries that stopped some of our key players taking part.

Roy Andersson, Malmö defender
I remember the matches really well. We put in a fantastic team effort in Vienna and then dominated at home. The buzz had been growing ever since the Wisła Kraków quarter-final, where we managed to turn it around after trailing [winning the second leg 4-1 following a 2-1 away defeat]. The temperature in the city kept rising from then on. I rate the Austria matches highly. We never thought we'd get so far in the European Cup. I had to undergo surgery after the semi-finals which meant I missed the Forest game.

Staffan Tapper, Malmö midfielder
I think the Austrians were happy to get us in the draw. It meant they avoided the Germans [1. FC Köln] and the English [Forest] but we were an experienced lot. Eight of us had been to the World Cup the year before, and most of our team had played at the highest level throughout the 70s. We looked at the Austria team sheet and thought: 'They won't beat us.' When we scored to make it 1-0 at home, expectations soared. Every minute after that was a minute closer to the European Cup final. We could sense it and the crowd could sense it. I was right behind Tommy Hansson when the cross came in; I remember thinking: 'Their marking is awful, Tommy is bound to score.' And he did.

Tommy Hansson, Malmö forward
I had already signed for Lunds BK in a lower division because I needed to get a job. But MFF asked me to stay for the European campaign. It turned out to be lucky for me. I scored an important goal against Wisła and then again against Austria Wien. Tore Cervin went for the near post while I stayed further back in the box. Their defenders failed to pick me up and I headed it in. It was an important goal for me – in terms of football and in terms of my career. The Malmo fire chief was at the post-match banquet and he offered me a job. I started working for the fire department in 1980 and have stayed there ever since. So the European Cup meant everything to me.

Ingemar Erlandsson, Malmö defender
Our coach Bob Houghton had instilled in us a very clear game plan, with zonal marking and using crosses to attack. Despite his youth [Houghton was 31], Bob had a way of getting his ideas across, even to players who were older than him. Our match in Vienna was a perfect example. We were always in our positions, directing Austria away from dangerous areas. In the return leg, Tommy Hansson's header from a cross was typical of how we scored our goals.

Karl Daxbacher, Austria Wien midfielder and now coach
It was a historic occasion for Austria [the club]. We struggled to come to terms with being knocked out for a long time afterwards, as we'd played the better football but failed in the end.