Thursday, April 02, 2015

FC Viktoria Rosport – CS Fola Esch-Alzette (01-03-2015)



After three games with my brother, I exchange groundhop partners and go with my friend P. to Luxembourg for the fourth and last hop of the weekend. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Luxembourg, with regard to groundhopping, as it is extremely difficult to get accurate information about games (dates, times, locations), and I have at least twice been stood up. Still, I keep trying, and this time the information seemed reliable.



I had chosen FC Viktoria Rosport because of the perfect name of the stadium: Stade du Camping (Camping Stadium) – incidentally, the team also seems to play in other stadium, named, much more pretentiously, ViktoriArena (capacity 2.500). Anyway, the name really fit the location, as it is next to a camping and it seems that their accommodation is used, at times, by the camping.



Rosport is a small town only a few miles across the German border. We have little problem parking close to the stadium, and camping, and make our way to the ticket office. I forgot the exact price, which is also not indicated on the generic ticket, but I think it was 10 euro.



The stadium is really tiny and has just one small, semi-covered stand – although you can stand all around the pitch. It also has a real canteen, similar to the ones the amateur teams had that I used to play for. In it there are some pictures of old teams and big games as well as a nice older woman who takes cares of a limited offer of drinks and snacks.

 
I count some 150-200 people, of whom at least 50-75 are away supporters, who made the 65 km (40 mile) trek north from Esch-sur-Alzette (also home to Jeunesse d’Esch). The official count of 355 seems highly inflated.



The game is characterized by slow pace and movement, but quite decent passing, which is often broken up because of a too slow or imprecise pass. Fola is the top team in Luxembourg and this is clear from the beginning. They simply have the (much) better players, many quite young.



In the 21th minute a Fola midfielder can walk roughly 20 meters and than shoot beautifully from just outside of the box in the far upper corner: 0-1. Three minutes later they have another good attack, with a half volley cross that is met by a half volley shot that is saved by the goalkeeper.



In the 32th minute an easy Fola attack is finished cool in the far corner: 0-2. By now it is clear to anyone in the stadium, the Viktoria players included, that Fola is simply too strong. Half time score: 0-2.

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The second half starts where the first half ended. A long Fola attack ends on the goalpost. In the 50th minute a good attack over right and an excellent cross is finished cool with a header: 0-3. Ten minutes later a Fola counter ends with a shot from outside of the box that goes just wide.


Although the hosts don’t really give up, they seem fully aware that they are no match for Fola. Still, in the 78th minute a corner is deflected, the first shot saved, but the rebound is scored from close up: 1-3. Is there still hope?



The answer comes just two minutes later. A quick counter with a great cross and a cool finish brings the lead back to three goals: 1-4. One minute before the end of the game a long pass to Fola’s striker is scored in two attempts: his third goal of the game. 1-5 is also the final score.



I can’t help it, I have a weak spot for Luxembourg football. It reminds me of watching my own Dutch team play in the third division of the amateur leagues. It’s homey and cozy.

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