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Friday, April 01, 2005

Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund 1 Motherwell 0

AaB Aalborg
Standing area at the Westfalenstadion

OK, I haven’t just been to Dortmund but was reminded of the place while putting in a last minute application for tickets at next years World Cup in Germany, for which Dortmund, and its impressive Westfalenstadion, is one of the 12 host cities.

The Westfalenstadion has undergone some dramatic changes since my one and only visit their back on October 13, 1994 for the 1st Round UEFA Cup tie between Borussia and Motherwell of the SPL. That night 35,420 were packed into a ground that now boasts a capacity of 82,808.

Dortmund was just a short autobahn drive away from Bochum were I worked for 6-months, and an advance guard of ‘Well fans staying at our hotel in the Ruhr valley city alerted myself, and a work colleague, to the impending game – which he was up for as well.

The visiting fans, around 1000 in number, and as you would expect of travelling Scottish support, were quite voluble through out the ninety minutes. Down as underdogs against a Dortmund side challenging for the Bundesliga title, Motherwell’s cause was not helped when one of their number was harshly red carded for a robust but what looked to be a fair challenge in the second half, and the home side went on to record a fortunate 1-0 victory.

Parallel to the main stadium is what used to be Borussia's former home until the late 1960's and is now used as an athletics stadium. The complex also had half a dozen car parks, it’s own railway station, etc, etc – it was big then and in its latest upgraded condition will be a fine venue for WC’06.

After the Motherwell game it was impossible to get tickets for home ties or when tickets were available take time of from work to get to the games as all of them kicked-off late afternoon/early evening for the benefit of German TV camera’s.

Borussia's progressed to the final, beating Slovan Bratislava 4-2 on aggregate, RC Deportivo La Coruna 3-2 on aggregate (after extra time – a pulsating game that I watched on TV), SS Lazio 2-1 in the semi-finals before succumbing 4-3 to Juventus in one of last two-legged UEFA Cup finals.

posted by chevblue at 1:58 pm






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