Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sevilla vs Real Betis September 2006

Andalucia in September is still hot. Seville was 33 degrees at times & most people tried to avoid the sun. The city centre's narrow streets gave some shade but also a sense of claustrophobia.
Similarly if you were a Real Betis supporter around the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium for the Derby you probably felt a sense of being hemmed-in & intimidation & some beer might well be directed towards you.
Inside the stadium it seemed a little like a smaller (though less intense of course) version of the Monumental in B Aires - the red & white , the curve of the stands & watching the away support arrive in a segment of the higher tier.
Los Biris (Sevilla ultras) had prepared their presentation based on 'Victoria' later accompanied by red smoke & as the kick-off neared the rest of the stadium joined in with their white/red flags.
Except the 500 or so Betis fans who missed the first 20 minutes of the game - because of security reasons or maybe they didn't want to see the display ?
Betis tends to represent the poorer areas of this city - they also showed the Spanish flag whereas Sevilla had the Andalucian flag prominent.
Sevilla, with recent European successes, were also on a high.

Though victory ('victoria') did happen it was not easy in an at times pulsating Derby.
With Rafael Sobis , recent Copa Libertadores winner, scoring two well taken goals Betis for a while anyway seemed like they might spoil the party.
But Kanoute with a Kanu-esque style also scored a couple & (another) Brazilian Renato struck the winner following a dribble & decisive finish with 5 minutes to go.
Expect Sobis (given the opportunities) & Sevilla's Jesus Navas (who at times terrorised the Betis defence) to be stars of the upcoming season in Spain.

A Derby with atmosphere & also a memorable game.
And with a 9pm finish you only had an hour or so to wait before the local restaurants would open.

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