Thursday, August 23, 2007

Switzerland vs Holland

There are not many opportunities to watch a decent football game around here, so when Switzerland announced that they would be playing Holland for a friendly match, I just had to be there. Nothing to do with me being a big Holland supporter.

Anyway, since alcohol is forbidden within the stadium, me and my mates met up at the pub for some food and quick beer drinking session. I managed to drink a pitcher of beer in an hour but I don't think that's enough for a football match.

Around 19.45 I hopped on my scooter and made my way through traffic and pedestrians, all the way to the entrance of the staidum where I parked my scooter. From there it was literally 5 minutes to our seats. Except that we stopped by a beer stand and bought some beer - which turned out to be non-alcoholic. What a waste!

Holland was there with almost all their best players. Arjen Robben was the only one missing as he was injured and too busy dealing with Real Madrid. Edwin van der Sar was there but got injured during training so Maarten Stekelenburg stepped up in goal. Mario Melchiot injured himself as well, so Kew Jaliens played right back. Otherwise it was Heitinga and Bouma in defense, Urby Emanuelson left back, Gio van Bronckhorst the defensive midfield, Wesley Sneijder and Demy de Zeeuw in midfield and Robin van Persie, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Raffie van der Vaart up front.

After about 10 minutes, the ref awarded a penalty to Switzerland for a foul I didn't understand (there are no replays in the stadium). Tranquillo (yes, his name is Tranquillo) Barnetta converted the penalty. Holland played as if it was a friendly, whereas Switzerland was out there with guns blazing. So 1-0 at half-time. Marco van Basten then made the following subs: Ryan Babel, Dirk Kuijt, Khalid Boulahrouz and Clarence Seedorf in for van der Vaart, van Nistelrooy, Jaliens and Sneijder. With Babel and Kuijt in attack, the Dutch became more dangerous although Tranquillo managed to score another goal. But within seconds (the Swiss supporters were still celebrating his goal) Kuijt pulled one back.

There were more chances for Holland but unfortunately this friendly will go into history as Switzerland 2 - Holland 1.

After that, a 5 minute walk back to my scooter and then dashing back home.

If only I managed to get Euro2008 tickets...


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