Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ukraine/Poland October 2010

Karpaty Lviv 0 Sevilla 1 in the Europa League.

I took the flight to Rzeszow in Poland and then a train to Przemysl followed by a short taxi ride to the border.

You can then walk across to Ukraine and catch a minibus to Lviv.
This takes less than 2 hours for a cost of just over a pound.

On the way, along bumpy roads, we pass some signs of increasing prosperity with newly built houses and road works.

But it is cold. The severe wind chill making it feel even worse.

In the Ukraina stadium, an older, typically open ground with a partly covered main stand, I decided not to sit down and stood at the back to try to keep warm.

It helped that the stadium was full.

Sevilla brought about 30 or so fans presumably well wrapped up in the un-Seville like conditions.
They merged with the locals in the main stand (unlike the Borussia Dortmund fans who ‘merged’ in a different way with the Karpaty ultras)

Karpaty were lively at the start but Sevilla quietened the crowd and Freddy Kanoute was to head in the winner from a corner after about half an hour.
Sevilla generally looked a class above their opponents without being outstanding.

At the end I took a brisk walk back down the hill and a taxi back to the centre.

After beer, borscht and some vodka I had managed to warm up.

Korona Kielce 1 Legia Warsaw 4.

I retraced my route to the border.

This time it was a lot slower returning to Poland due to the large numbers travelling back and forth with their alcohol and cigarettes.
Eventually, and with some help from the locals gently pushing me to the front once they realised I was English, I made it back across.

I’d missed the early train so had some time for a wander around Przemysl in cold but bright weather.

Then it was a train to Krakow and onward to Kielce.

I had time enough to book into the hotel and walk to the modern Kielc Arena for an 8pm kick off.

Its a new, stylish looking stadium that has been used by Poland for some international matches.

And a good crowd (14,479) turned out on this cold night with many queuing outside as kickoff time approached. However, like the trains, there was a delay.

They played the stirring music, the locals raised their red & yellow scarves and sang their song.
And the ultras kept up the noise throughout despite the result.

Legia started well with striker Kucharczyk’s early goal, Korona replied later in the half but then had their goalie dismissed.
Captain Vrdoljak scored from the resulting penalty.

In the second period the visitors kept on top and ran out comfortable winners.

Korona didn’t look like title contenders although they did play with ten men for a large part of the game.

Back at the hotel the vodka was on offer (9zl) so that was hard to resist.

Wisla Krakow 5 Lechia Gdansk 2.

This was a ‘friendly’ match as the respective fans have an amiable ‘partnership’.

The Wisla stadium is expected to be completed next year although delays continue, apparently connected with finance and politics.
Two sides were open and they were well filled.

I’m sure when they pack into four sides it will quite an atmosphere.

After the first twenty minutes of the match you would have expected Lechia to win as they had scored and missed some half chances.

But then Wisla took over scoring five times , including two from the Slovenian Andraz Kim..

Lechia allowed them too much space and paid the penalty.

Back at the hotel I watched some highlights of the other Polish league games.

Zaglebie Lubin 0 Ruch Chorzow 0.

To another newish stadium, this time with orange seats.

The ground was about half full (8,568) with a very noisy contingent from Chorzow.
The home ultras played their part as well.

But the game was generally poor with the teams tending to cancel each other out.

At least the ultras provided good entertainment.

I warmed up by jogging to the bus stop and getting a minibus back to Wroclaw (takes around an hour and a half)

Vodka and crisps to finish.

more pics at

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