Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sweden August 2010

Gefle IF 3 Mjallby AIF 3

End to End.

The first of three games in the Swedish Premier.

It was cloudy, overcast but mild in Gavle, 100km north of Uppsala.

Gefle were second from bottom and Mjallby were 5th before this 20th league game of the season.

The match was played on an artificial pitch, watched by a small contingent of away fans and over 5,000 locals

The ground has open temporary seats/standing at each end with more open seating along the side.
And there is an old style main stand complete with numerous posts providing nostalgia but with an obscured view.

The game itself was a great watch with plenty of open play and goalmouth action.

Moroccan Mostapha El Kadir scored two in the first period for Mjallby who had better possession and looked well placed to win.

But Gefle improved in the second half with Jakob Orlov also getting a double helping them into a 3-2 lead.

That is until the last minutes of added time when a free kick reaches Robledo and he scores from close range to make it 3-3.

I drove back to my hotel in Uppsala via the (royal) burial grounds of Old Uppsala.

Kalmar FF 1 Atvidabergs FF 2


A valuable win for bottom team Atvidabergs.

The current Kalmar stadium is quaint, with two medium sized stands and 5 smaller temporary areas at either end.
One section of temporary standing housed the 50 or so away fans.

Again it was mild but overcast with rain earlier in the day.

This time the game was played on a real grass pitch which looked in good condition.

But it didn't help as the first half entertainment was only moderate with few shots and both sides struggled for rhythm.

Al least it got better after the break especially for the visitors who went ahead from a Moberg header.

Brazilian Sobralense smashed in the equaliser but Atvidabergs kept attacking and Moller shot in the winner with 15 minutes remaining.

Kalmar underperformed despite the urging of captain Henrik Rydstrom (all shaven head and wrist bands) and the oldest cheerleader I've ever seen.

Sushi on the way home and Lord of the Rings on TV.

Orebro SK 1 AIK 0


A bigger crowd in a more modern stadium, an arena no less.

And a very vociferous group of fans supporting AIK.

They kept up the noise throughout as their team, surprisingly near the foot of the table, held the home side reasonably comfortably.

Until the very last minute of injury time when Bosnian Gerzic clipped a free kick over the wall for the winner.

It was very hard on AIK for whom Bangoura was prominent.

Surely they can't be relegated ?

more pictures at

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Poland August 2010

Gornik Zabrze 0 Polonia Warsaw 2

Bad return.

Gornik returned to the top division in Poland but started with this defeat.

It was a comfortable enough win for Polonia who were better in possession.
They scored one goal in each half, firstly from a left wing cross finished by striker Sobiech then from Mierzejewski after a move down the left.

When Gornik did get close the Polonia goalie, Przyrowski, was in good form (apart from his kicking)

The stadium, of the older style, comprised a covered main stand with the rest being open seating, curved ends, and a track.
It was well filled with very noisy home fans.

And despite a heavy thunderstorm during the second half the ultras still kept their shirts off.

I too got soaked on the walk back to my hotel.

Widzew Lodz 1 Lech Poznan 1

Champions held by Red Army.

Widzew were another side returning to the Polish Premier and they started with a commendable draw against last seasons champions.
No doubt they were helped by an excellent atmosphere produced by the home fans who maintained some serious noise throughout the game.

Again it was shirts off in the second half during which there was more (light) rain to cool us off.

The Lech fans produced their own chants from their well policed section near to my right.
Nearby the hardcore home ultras kept watch.

In the match itself it looked for a long time that one goal would be sufficient for Lech who built up more pressure.
It came from sub Rudnevs' header in the 77th minute.

But Widzew did get an equaliser seven miinutes later after the Lech goalie failed to stop a Sernas effort.

Poznan defender Bosacki was taken off on a stretcher after a bad clash of heads with Nigerian Ukah, the ambulance coming quickly onto the pitch.
He was to be kept in hospital overnight then released the next day.

Though not a great match the atmosphere provided good compensation.

I took a tram back to central Lodz and then a train to Warsaw.

Lechia Gdansk 0 Ruch Chorzow 0


An early start to get the 6.40am (slow) train to Gdansk where the weather stayed warm and dry.

The Lechia stadium, a ten minute tram ride from the centre, is another older style ground with typical open seating and cover on the main stand.
Green and white predominates.

Ruch brought about 150 fans from the far south.

This time the crowd atmosphere didn't compensate for a moderate encounter.
Because of their dissatisfaction with the management's player strategy the home ultras were generally quiet, apart from their song at the start.

Ruch defended well, frustrating Lechia who usually only looked dangerous when the Brazilian Santos Deleu had space on the right flank.
Dawidowski worked hard up front for the home side but with limited success.

So a goalless draw to finish this three game trip to Poland.

more pics at

Monday, August 02, 2010

Denmark July 2010

Randers 2 Lausanne Sport 3

In the Europa League.

A flight to Aarhus (actually Tirstrup) and a one hour bus journey took me to Randers in the Jutland part of Denmark.

In the afternoon I joined many others in the tropical zoo, described as the largest artifical rainforest in Northern Europe.
It comprises three geodesic domes where various animals roam around amongst the plant life.

I roamed and sweated.

At the Essex Park stadium 2700 watched quite an entertaining first leg encounter in the Europa League. The stadium still preserves some terracing at one end though this was (as expected) unused for this game.

Randers started well, going ahead after the Armenian Yura Movsisyan converted a right wing cross.
Steuble equalised for the Swiss just before half time as the visitors began to get better possession.

Into the second period the home side were somewhat unlucky to have a goal disallowed for a foul on the goalie and soon after Lausanne were awarded a penalty as Brazlian Silvio was brought down.
He casually converted the spot kick.

The impressive Movsisyan was at the far post to head in for 2-2 but Silvio would have the last word to outpace the defence and slot in the winner.

By now the weather had become more like November than July with intermittent rain.

I finished with a kebab and then a beer in the hotel.

more pics at