Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Two separate weekends in Denmark seeing a total of six Superliga matches.
13th July AGF Aarhus 1 Aalborg 1 9,728
This trip began with an early start to get the morning flight from Stansted to Aarhus.
The contrast with Ukraine was telling.
Here it was back to relative tranquillity and order with definitely no potholes in the roads.
And Aarhus has much to recommend with its attractive centre and a vibrant bar/restaurant scene.
There is also an interesting and well presented Art Museum which at the moment is showing Tony Oursler’s ‘faces’.
The tree-lined walk up Stadion Allee to the ground helps set the mood.
However in an echo of the Euros there was a ‘countdown’ before the game began at the NRGi park stadium.
Though no teams adopted the Spanish ‘false no.9’, traditional 4:4:2 being the usual strategy.
Some 500 or so fans came from Aalborg amongst a good sized crowd for this opening league fixture.
The stadium, despite having a track, feels cosy enough.
AGF took a long time to get going, only getting close near the end of the first half.
Striker Graulund looked the most likely to create something and similarly his counterpart no.11, Helenius, was a potential threat.
The drama happened towards the end as AGF got a penalty from which Jorgensen scored.
AaB, who probably deserved the draw, left it very late to equalise when sub. Jeppe Curth scored from close in.
That was in the sixth minute of injury time, mostly added because of the time needed to attend to two AaB defenders following a nasty clash of heads.
I strolled back to the centre, in pleasant weather, to enjoy a couple of mojitos.
14th July SonderjyskE 6 Randers 1 2,995
Train to Kolding then a bus to Haderslev.
Which is a fairly small town with some cobbled streets, large church and other oldish buildings.
The ground is small but neat and tidy and there is a friendly feeling to the club.
Not that Randers (and coach Colin Todd) got much joy on this Saturday afternoon.
They were very well beaten.
SonderjyskE dominated midfield and were lively in attack scoring three times in the first half including one from Zimbabwean Antipas.
Randers did get the best goal though - a thirty yard strike from Kamper just after the break.
But overall they were poor and making some basic errors in defence to compound their difficulties.
The scoring finished in the 72nd minute when Storbaek converted a penalty.
15th July Esbjerg 2 Silkeborg 3 6,226
Bus and train to Esbjerg on the west coast of Denmark known for the boat to Harwich.
I guess Sunday mornings are quiet in Denmark & it was particularly so in Esbjerg.
Where the wind blew but at least the rain stayed away.
The Blue Water Arena is a typically modern medium sized stadium being mostly two-tiered with sections of terrace behind both goals.
There were around 80 Silkeborg fans in the away corner.
Newly promoted Esbjerg certainly did better than the other ex-1st division team (Randers)
In that they played their part in an exciting and competitive game.
They had gone behind, against the run of play, after Marvin Pourie rounded the goalie to score in the first period.
Ankersen equalised early in the second but, as the match became more end to end, the visitors kept their lead as Risgard shot in from the edge of the area.
And despite another leveller Silkeborg secured the win when the home goalie failed to collect a cross and Pourie flicked in his second goal.
Its a half hour or so walk back to the centre and then on to the train station.
Where I took the 5pm back to Aarhus.
Finishing with a Chinese buffet and a large Hoegaarden.
20th July Silkeborg 0 Horsens 2 3,166
Back to Denmark, again via Ryanair from Stansted to Aarhus.
From the centre it takes about an hour and a quarter to get to Silkeborg using a train and (tog) bus.
I stayed near the stadium, which is around twenty minutes stroll from the station.
This game started in sunshine though it got cooler in the windy conditions.
Horsens is not too far away and they had 100 or so fans in the right hand terrace.
Their team took their chances, the first from a Fagerberg run and cross and the second from a corner nodded in by Toft.
The visitors had edged possession up until then (the first half hour)
Silkeborg then struggled to convert their opportunities although they had one chance cleared off the line. They either lacked the final ball or a decisive strike.
21st July Midtjylland 3 Nordsjaelland 1 4,315
Another ‘togbus’ ride due west takes you to Herning.
Nordsjaelland, including Andreas Laudrup, never looked like defending title holders and they will surely struggle in the Champions League playing like this.
The home side were two up on 34 minutes with man-of-the-match Hassan involved in both.
Albaek scored the third after a mistake and that secured a comfortable victory although Nordsjaelland did get a very late consolation when their captain Stokholm volleyed in.
But the Black Wolves with a number of Nigerians amongst their team had won decisively.
The stadium is a neat, covered, mix of seats and terrace.
I was fortunate enough to enjoy some of the hospitality before (chicken, salad,cheese and fruit) and after the game (wine)
22nd July OB Odense 0 Randers 1 7,123
Over to Funen and the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen.
But there was no fairy tale for the home side as they lost to Colin Todd’s Randers for whom their goalie, David Ousted, was the undoubted star.
He made a series of outstanding saves, including a double block from a penalty in the first half.
Randers were sharper and much better organised than when I saw them lose 6-1 the previous weekend.
They rode their luck at times but scored a fine winner as Schwartz broke away to set up Rise who shot home.
Rasmus Falk showed some good touches for the home side and Malian sub. Kalilou Traore was dangerous with his long throws.
But it was a win for the visitors and they celebrated with the 40 or so away fans.
The ground is of a decent size with a blue & white theme to the seats.
And there is a good sense of history about the place with plenty of old photos and other reminders of past successes.
Pre-game we had the ‘OB’ song and typically dramatic music.
I travelled back, via train, to Aarhus and settled on a couple of mojitos and a burger meal.
The weather had been mostly cloudy but dry and breezy.
more pictures at http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/1360912143