Wednesday, April 06, 2011

France & Belgium April 2011

A three game long weekend Eurostar and train trip to France and Belgium.

Le Havre 1 Istres 2 in French Ligue 2

This 1938 World Cup ground will soon be replaced by a new stadium going up the other side of the railway lines.

For this Friday evening encounter over 8000 turned out to see second placed Le Havre beaten by the visitors from the south.

After a regulation goalless first half of few chances we had more action in the second.

Istres took the lead early on and, as Le Havre pushed forward, they extended their advantage with a breakaway second goal.

The young home side converted a late penalty but Istres held on for the victory.

The league is amazingly close with just twelve points separating the top sixteen teams.

OH Leuven 3 Tournai 0.

Via Paris and Brussels to Leuven for this Belgian 2nd level match.

On a warm and at times humid Saturday evening in the very amenable town of Leuven I watched the league leaders have a reasonably comfortable win over the bottom team.

Tournai had about 40 fans (in the left hand end) plus the 3500 home fans.

Leuven won by being strong at set pieces and exploiting the pacy Tunisian Harbaoui up front.

I strolled afterwards to the attractive central area - thronged with beer drinkers.

Vise 1 Roeselare 3.

I took the train from Leuven via Liege to the small town of Vise for another 2nd league fixture.

Though it rained early on the weather brightened up by the 3pm start.

Vise have a smaller ground comprising two sides with a typical bar area at one end.
I partook of some wine and watched the cycling on the TV, along with quite a few others.

As is often the case team sheets were freely available.

Roeselare always looked in control after scoring early, soon adding a second and getting a third after 55 minutes.
Despite one reply from the home side they struggled to create much and the visitors ran out winners.

Back in Leuven the impressive Scala/Kolacny Brothers rock choir were performing outside the large central church to finish off my evening.

more pictures at

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