Sunday, November 11, 2007

Royal Capellen FC – RFC Union La Calamine (04-11-2007)

After some gloomy autumn days, Sunday was starting out pretty well. I had decided not to take on a big groundhop this weekend, but instead opted for a game in the direct environment of Antwerp. So, just before 13.00 I met with fellow-academic and fellow-blogger, P.S., to take bus 650 from Antwerp to Putte. After some 30 minutes we got out at Kapellen, where we walked a couple of minutes to Stadion Jos van Wellen.

There are few old school stadium like the one of the Royal Capellen Football Club left in Belgium, or in other countries for that matter. It is situated in a residential street and has a beautiful old entrance. Given the weather, we decided to get a ticket for the covered seating stand, the most expensive at a steep 15 euro. After all, we are talking here about a game in the Derde Klasse B (Third Division) in an old stadium. Moreover, the view from the stand left much to desire.

I guess some 150 people had come to the Stadion Jos van Wellen for this game between the number 3 and number 18 of the Derde Klasse B. This included some 10 people from La Calamine, or Kelmis, in the German-speaking part of Belgium, a trip of almost 100 km. Among the home supporters were a small hard core in red-yellow, the colors of RCFC.

Let me get straight to the point: the game was poor! Although it went back and forth, with play at both sides of the pitch, the game was dominated by weak passes and saw few decent chances. It was already the 20th minute when the visitors had their first decent attack, over right, leading to a header at the goal. Two minutes later the hosts had their first chance, which directly led to a penalty and the 1-0.

Two minutes later it appeared 2-0, but the header was from an offside position, so the goal was canceled. After that the game returned to its dismal level, and it would take until the last minute of the first half before there was anything noteworthy to report: a Capellen attack with an exceptional good end pass from the left, met by a decent header, unfortunately just over the goal. Half-time!

Half-time we spent eating a typical Belgian football snack, the fat and fairly tasteless braadworst (sausage), watching our “fans of the game” carry their horn ensemble to another spot, and visiting the cozy and warm canteen.

The second half was as poor as the first. I noted only a couple of half-chances, my irritation with the horn ensemble, and a huge mistake of the last defender of Kelmis, which leads to the 2-0 for Capellen in the 77th minute. After that, both teams had one chance, and the decent goalie of the visitors made a good safe in the dying minutes. Without him, the score could have been worse for the visitors, although I doubt Capellen has the potential to score much more. 2-0 final score.

[ no scoreboard, no final score ]

The best things of this trip were: the company, the quick trip (we virtually walked into the bus back to Antwerp, which meant we were home by 17.30), and the beautiful old entrance of the stadium.

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