Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Brann Bergen vs Lyn Oslo 8th October 2007
Gold for Brann Bergen as they , barring the mathematics, clinch their first Norwegian title for some 44 years.
After taking an early lead through top scorer Helstad the home side missed numerous chances to seal the win. Generally unless your team is Italian one goal is not usually enough.
And with the celebrations just about to get going Lyn did produce an equaliser with some 3 minutes remaining.
Could it be a serious anti-climax ?
Enter Azar Karadas to save the day(night) with two very late goals & Brann had it won by 3-1.
The red shirted fans certainly generated some atmosphere (for Norway anyway) in the packed 18,000 capacity Brann stadium with plenty of flags & flares & noise.
This joy was then transferred to the city centre as the harbour bars were soon thronged with fans singing (more terrace chant then Grieg) & most of all - drinking into the early hours.
For me midnight was long enough.
It was probably not a normal Monday night in Bergen & I think Tuesday was also abnormal as many fans undoubtedly had sore heads .
But the red scarves & shirts were worn with pride.
Norway in early October is coldish tho' for my 4 day visit the days were bright & sunny though it did get colder by nightfall.
Watching football is reasonably comfortable & certainly cosy enough in the stadium in Bergen.
An affluent , successful country for most - you know its going to be expensive but it still comes as a small shock - the £70 meals, the £20 haircuts (not that I had one) , the £9 cocktails (I did have one) & the £70+ train ride from Oslo to Bergen for instance.
But the scenery is often stunning - the sparsely populated areas seemingly idyllic amongst the isolated cabins, lakes & forests.
Peaceful & civilised - great for children - a few seedier bits (near the big stations typically) but generally safe.
But nowhere is perfect.
A small argument in a library - maybe about some photocopying - somehow typifies the situation.
When most things are under control - you have to worry about something.
Not that many Brann supporters did on the evening of the 8th October 2007.