Thursday, April 28, 2011
Germany, Luxembourg & Holland April 2011
This was a six game trip that took in a visit to Germany including seeing the temporary stadium in Dusseldorf as well as games in Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
Erzgebirge Aue 1 Energie Cottbus 2.
If you look on the map Aue is a small place going towards the Czech border in eastern Germany.
You might suppose not many fans would turn out to see their games but judging by traffic going into the town I soon realised that was certainly not the case.
They are after all doing well in the 2.Bundesliga and obviously draw in fans from the surrounding area (14,000 in this case)
It was a pleasant evening in Saxony but it was the visitors who had the upper hand scoring, ironically following an Erzgebirge corner, from a breakaway in the first half.
The home team brought on two subs at the break and eventually they did get a penalty but Glasner’s shot was saved.
Then on 65 minutes we had a ten minute interlude as the Cottbus ultras set off flares, the situation subsequently being calmed with the help of some of the away players.
The break didn’t help Aue who went further behind late on as top scorer Petersen converted a rebound.
A late header was only a consolation.
I strolled down the hill, past the small station and drove back to Erfurt.
F91 Dudelange 2 Swift Hesperange 1.
Not many options for games on this Easter Friday so I ventured into Luxembourg for this Cup encounter between the league champions and their visitors from Hesperange.
The ground is basically two sides with a refreshments area at one end. I’d had a weiss beer sharpener beforehand and topped that up with a glass of red wine in the ground.
About 300 watched what felt like a English non-league game in low-key, friendly, surroundings with the local kids having a kick around at half-time.
Although Swift did try to pass it F91 always looked more likely.
They led after 70 minutes, got pegged back after a goalie error and just as we thought extra time was certain they were awarded a disputed penalty and the centre forward converted.
Wehen Wiesbaden 0 Rot Weiss Erfurt 1.
Both these teams are well placed in the 3.Liga although it was Erfurt who generally held the edge.
The winner, via a longish throw, came in the 10th minute.
Wehen struggled to create for much of the match.
The newish stadium is a typical setup of medium sized stands and end terracing where at the left hand end Erfurt had brought a good sized support.
Roda 5 NAC Breda 1.
I drove the two and a quarter hours from Wiesbaden to Kerkrade for this Dutch top level game.
Having previously had trouble finding this stadium (at night) this time it was far easier on a warm, dry Spring evening.
It remains an unusual development with the in-built hotel and shopping areas.
Fortified by some nuggets and chips (no mayonnaise) I watched Roda demolish NAC starting with three goals in 26 minutes.
NAC got their consolation late in the first half but mostly all they could do was admire the home team’s play.
Further goals from a penalty and another after a defensive mistake sealed the win.
Matthew Amoah had no luck up front for NAC despite making many runs and hitting the post near the end.
Air Berlin World.
Fortuna Dusseldorf 2 Arminia Bielefeld 0.
This was the second of three games being played by Fortuna at a temporary stadium as their next door main Arena is being prepared for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Its hard to see why this would happen, there being no shortage of stadiums in the region, but Air Berlin World/Park worked well enough to accommodate over 18,000 fans in the usual mix of standing and seating.
You have to assume Fortuna are not losing money so perhaps this will be a future trend ?
In a decent atmosphere in warm, dry conditions Fortuna did enough to defeat a Bielefeld side lacking confidence and already relegated.
One goal in each half decided the match.
I took the U-bahn back to the centre and onward to my hotel in Bonn.
Fortuna Koln 3 Germania Windeck 1.
Again limited realistic options for Easter Monday so I chose an easy train ride to Cologne for this Oberliga match between the teams in second and third.
Fortuna have a old style ground of covered stand and curved terracing.
Around 1,000 turned out on another very pleasant day to see the home side earn a solid win going 2-0 ahead, conceding one before the excellent Fabian Montabell header the clincher.
The locals included some lively ultras noisly enhanced by a couple of guys with megaphones.
I strolled back to the South station, past the swingers club and second on the left.
more pictures at http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/754365289.