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Friday, June 01, 2007

Revisited: World Youth Championship 2005

Two summers ago Extreme Groundhopping Jnr and I spent a couple of days at the FIFA World Youth Championships in Holland taking in one game in Utrecht (it should have been two but more on that in a second) and two games in Enschede. With another jaunt across to Holland coming up in just over a weeks time (on this occasion for the UEFA U-21 Championships), I thought I’d update the blog with a bit more detail on the 2005 trip than the two rather skimpy entries that I created at the time (here). In addition a number of revamped panoramas of the two stadiums we visited can be found here, here, here and here.

FC Utrecht17-06-2005
China 4 Panama 1
Galgenwaard Stadion, Utrecht, Holland

Travelling by ferry across from Harwich to the Hoek van Holland we had planned to travel by train through to Utrecht for a double-header featuring Morocco against Chile and China against Panama. Sadly, a train strike by Dutch railway workers left us relying on a replacement bus service and we arrived at the Galgenwaard Stadium in Utrecht too late for the first match (won 1-0 by Morocco) but the China vs Panama game more than made up for this.

Utrecht is in the heart of the Netherlands and, bolstered by a large student population, is the fourth largest city in Holland with over a quarter of a million inhabitants. The old centre of the city is well worth a wander with its picturesque canal system (no Dutch conurbation is complete without one) and a good selection of bars and eateries.

FC Utrecht

FC Utrecht boast one of the most active fan groups in Holland - the more unruly elements of which having gained a bit of a ‘rep’ in the 1970’s and 1980’s - which, for the most part, the team has failed to reward, excepting two Dutch Cup wins in 1985 and 2003. Our taxi driver for the drive from the city centre out to the ground was a former Utrecht reserve team player whose career was ended by a leg injury. Or so he claimed.

FC UtrechtThe Galgenwaard Stadium, FC Utrecht’s home, on the outer edges of the city, opened originally as a velodrome in 1936, and has since hosted greyhound racing, athletics and gymnastics as well as football. Now with a capacity approaching 25,000 the stadium was reaching the end of a major makeover when we visited, with brand spanking new stands on all four sides of the pitch, its second complete rebuild following a similar exercise in 1981-82.

As for the game, needing just a draw to finish top China tore into Panama from the off and were a goal up after just 6 minutes, a low shot just inside the Panamanian ‘keepers left hand post. Panama pulled one back after 37 minutes from a corner but the Chinese reclaimed the lead with five minutes to go before the half (a close range header), and completed the scoring on 51 (a one on one between striker and keeper) and 78 (a free kick deflected in off a post), for a 4-1 rout. This left the Chinese top of Group B with the maximum nine points and Panama bottom with none. However, the side from the People’s Republic would fall at the first hurdle in the knock-out stages with a 2-3 loss to Germany four days later.

FC Utrecht

We managed to get on the wrong bus after the game and ended up way out of Utrecht at a park and ride. Momentarily disorientated we were soon on another bus into the centre of the city without too much difficulty. Utrecht I had been to many times before, staying in hotels there while working on a project in nearby Woerden, so it was all fairly familiar terrain. That’s what I kept telling Extreme Groundhopping Jnr anyway.

FC Twente18-06-2005
USA 1 Egypt 0
Nigeria 3 Switzerland 0
Arke Stadion, Enschede, Holland

The next day by train (normal service having been resumed) from Utrecht to Hengelo in time to find our hotel, stroll round the town’s pleasant market square, enjoy a light luncheon and then take a quick 10 minute taxi ride to the Arke Stadium on the western edge of neighbouring Enschede. Hengelo and Enschede are not far from the German border and they along with the surrounding area are a popular destination for Teutonic tourists.

I’d been to Enschede before, too, for a pre-season game between FC Twente and Ipswich in the late 1970’s, but barely remember the trip to be honest, the two sides having struck up a friendship following two encounters in the UEFA Cup (Town winning one tie and FC Twente the other, in respectively, the 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons). Twice winners and twice runners up in the Dutch Cup FC Twente made it to the UEFA Cup Final in 1975 after defeating Ipswich, losing a two legged affair 1-5 on aggregate to Borussia Moenchengladbach.

FC Twente

Bizarrely the main entrance to the Arke Stadium was wrapped up like an early Christmas present in FIFA logo peppered plastic sheeting to hide all signs bearing the name of the stadium, which it takes from FC Twente’s sponsor the supermarket chain, Arke (UEFA get up to this malarky in the Champions League I’m told). The original ground, and the one I had visited, the Diekman Stadium was demolished to make way for the present 13,500 all-seater one which opened its doors for the first time in May 1998.

FC TwenteA very very hot day. There’s something about watching a game of football in blazing hot sunshine that just can’t be beaten. Accept watching two consecutive games in blazing hot sunshine. USA 1 Egypt 0 was an OK game but the Nigeria v Switzerland clash (the Swiss including Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos) was a corker made all the better by a cracking atmosphere. A few hundred Super Eagles fans had shown up in the west Dutch town to support the reigning African Youth Champions and did they know how to support their side!

Goalless at the break (the Swiss failing to get off a single shot on target), the Nigerians tore into the Europeans in the second period, taking the lead on 49, doubling it through a retaken spot kick on the hour, and rounding things off with a third just before time. The USA finished top of Group D - Egypt bottom – but fell at the first hurdle in the knock-out stages with a 1-3 loss to Italy. Switzerland finished bottom of Group F, while victors Nigeria finished second behind Brazil. The Africans saw off the Ukraine 1-0 in the round of 16, then beat host nation Holland in a quarter-final penalty shoot-out, and ousted Morocco 3-0 in the semi’s for a place in the final.

FC Twente

We caught a local train back to Hengelo post game from the stadiums very own station, for a comfortable night in Hengelo, Junior and I tucking into a splendid meal at a Greek Restaurant just off the main square, and then back across country to catch our ferry home the following afternoon to conclude a most enjoyable three-day break.

Over the course of the next week or so the tournament played through to it’s climax and a final that saw Argentina take the trophy with a 2-1 win over Nigeria in Utrecht. Brazil and Morocco claiming 3rd and 4th spots.

posted by chevblue at 9:29 pm






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Ground Visit Record

ENGLAND

AFC Bournemouth
(Fitness First Stadium)

AFC Portchester
(Wicor Recreation Ground)

AFC Sudbury
(King's Marsh Stadium)

AFC Totton
(Testwood Park)

Aldershot Town
(Recreation Ground)

Alton Town
(Alton (Bass) Sports Ground)

Arsenal
(Emirates)

Arsenal
(Highbury)

Aston Villa
(Villa Park)

Barnet
(Underhill)

Barnsley
(Oakwell)

Basildon United
(Gardiners Close)

Billericay Town
(New Lodge)

Birmingham City
(St Andrews)

Blackburn Rovers
(Ewood Park)

Blackpool
(Bloomfield Road)

Bolton Wanderers
(Reebok Stadium)

Bolton Wanderers
(Burnden Park)

Boston United
(York Street)

Bradford City
(Valley Parade)

Braintree Town
(Cressing Road)

Brantham Athletic
(Brantham Athletic Sports & Social Club)

Brentford
(Griffin Park)

Brighton & Hove Albion
(Withdean Stadium)

Brighton & Hove Albion
(Goldstone Ground)

Bristol City
(Ashton Gate)

Bristol Rovers
(Eastville)

Bromley
(Hayes Lane)

Burnley
(Turf Moor)

Bury
(Gigg Lane)

Bury Town
(Ram Meadow)

Cambridge City
(Milton Road)

Cambridge United
(Abbey Stadium)

Charlton Athletic
(The Valley)

Chelmsford City
(New Writtle Street)

Chelmsford City
(Chelmsford Sport & Athletics Centre)

Chelsea
(Stamford Bridge)

Chester City
(Saunders Honda Stadium)

Colchester United
(Layer Road)

Cornard United
(Blackhouse Lane)

Coventry City
(Ricoh Arena)

Coventry City
(Highfield Road)

Crewe Alexandra
(Gresty Road)

Crystal Palace
(Selhurst Park)

Dagenham & Redbridge
(Victoria Road)

Dartford
(Watling Street)

Debenham Leisure Centre
(Maitlands)

Derby County
(Pride Park)

Derby County
(Baseball Ground)

Diss Town
(Brewers Green Lane)

Eastleigh
(Sparshatts Stadium)

Ely City
(Unwin Ground)

Everton
(Goodison Park)

Fareham Town
(Cams Alders)

FC Clacton
(Rush Green Bowl)

FC Fleetlands
(Lederle Lane)

Felixstowe & Walton United
(Dellwood Avenue)

Framlingham Town
(Sports Ground)

Fulham
(Craven Cottage)

Gillingham
(Priestfield)

Gorleston
(Emerald Park)

Gosport Borough
(Privett Park)

Great Yarmouth Town
(Wellesley Recreation Ground)

Grimsby Town
(Blundell Park)

Hadleigh United
(Millfield)

Halstead Town
(Rosemary Lane)

Hamble ASSC
(Follands Park)

Harwich & Parkeston
(Royal Oak)

Havant & Waterlooville
(West Leigh Park)

Heybridge Swifts
(Scraley Road)

Histon
(Glass World Stadium)

Horndean Town
(Five Heads Park)

Huddersfield Town
(Leeds Road)

Hull City
(KC Stadium)

Hull City
(Boothferry Park)

Ipswich Town
(Portman Road)

Ipswich Wanderers
(SEH Sports Ground )

Kingstonians
(Kingsmeadow)

Leeds United
(Elland Road)

Leicester City
(Walkers Stadium)

Leicester City
(Filbert Street)

Leiston
(Victory Road)

Leyton Orient
(Brisbane Road)

Lincoln City
(Cincil Bank)

Liverpool
(Anfield)

Long Melford
(Stoneylands)

Lowestoft Town
(Crown Meadows)

Luton Town
(Kenilworth Road)

Manchester City
(Maine Road)

Manchester United
(Old Trafford)

Middlesborough
(Ayresome Park)

Millwall
(The New Den)

Millwall
(The Den)

MK Dons
(National Hockey Stadium)

MK Dons
(stadium:mk)

Needham Market
(Bloomfields)

Netley Central Sports
(Station Road Recreation Ground)

Newcastle United
(St James' Park)

Newmarket Town
(Cricket Field Road)

Northampton Town
(County Ground)

Norwich City
(Carrow Road)

Nottingham Forest
(City Ground)

Notts County
(Meadow Lane)

Peterborough United
(London Road)

Petersfield Town
(Love Lane)

Plymouth Argyle
(Home Park)

Port Vale
(Vale Park)

Portsmouth
(Fratton Park)

Preston North End
(Deepdale)

Queens Park Rangers
(Loftus Road)

Reading
(Madejski Stadium)

Redbridge
(Oakside Stadium)

Romsey Town
(Bypass Ground)

Rotherham United
(Millmoor)

Saffron Walden Town
(Catons Lane)

Salisbury City
(Raymond McEnhill Stadium)

Scunthorpe United
(Glanford Park)

Sheffield United
(Bramall Lane)

Sheffield Wednesday
(Hillsborough)

Shrewsbury Town
(Gay Meadow)

Shrewsbury Town
(Prostar Stadium)

Soham Town Rangers
(Julius Martin Lane)

Southampton
(St Mary's)

Southampton
(The Dell)

Southend United
(Roots Hall)

St Albans City
(Clarence Park)

Stanway Rovers
(New Farm Road)

Stockport County
(Edgeley Park)

Stoke City
(Britannia Stadium)

Stoke City
(Victoria Ground)

Stowmarket Town
(Green Meadows Stadium)

Sunderland
(Stadium of Light)

Swaffham Town
(Shoemakers Lane)

Swindon Town
(County Ground)

Thetford Town
(Mundford Road)

Tiptree United
(Chapel Road)

Tottenham Hotspurs
(White Hart Lane)

United Services Portsmouth
(Victory Stadium)

VT FC
(Vosper Thornycroft Sports Ground)

Walsall
(Bescot Stadium)

Walsall
(Fellows Park)

Walsham Le Willows
(Walsham Sports Club Ground)

Watford
(Vicarage Road)

Wembley Stadium
(Old)

Wembley Stadium
(New)

West Bromwich Albion
(The Hawthorns)

West Ham United
(Upton Park)

Whitton United
(King George V Playing Field )

Wigan Athletic
(JJB Stadium)

Wimbledon
(Plough Lane)

Winchester City
(Denplan City Ground)

Witham Town
(Spa Road)

Wivenhoe Town
(Broad Lane)

Woking
(Kingfield Stadium)

Wolverhampton Wanderers
(Molineux)

Woodbrige Town
(Notcutts Park)

Worcester City
(St. Georges Lane)

WALES

Cardiff City
(Ninian Park)

SCOTLAND

Aberdeen
(Pittodrie Stadium)

Heart of Midlothian
(Tynecastle Stadium)

AUSTRALIA

Northern Spirit
(North Sydney Oval)

AUSTRIA

SW Wacker Innsbruck
(Tivoli Stadion)

BELGIUM

RSC Anderlect
(Constant Vanden Stock Stadium)

FC Brugge
(Olympiastadion)

SV Zulte-Waregem
(Regenboogstadion)

DENMARK

FC Kobenhavn
(Gladsaxe Stadion)

Helsingor IF
(Helsingor Stadion)

ESTONIA

FC Flora
(Lillekula Stadium)

FINLAND

HJK Helsinki
(Finnair Stadium)

VPS
(Hietalahti Stadium)

Tampere United
(Tammelan Stadium)

FRANCE

St.Etienne
(G.Guichard Stadium)

GERMANY

1. FC Koeln
(Mungersdorfer Stadion)

Borussia Dortmund
(Westfalenstadion )

1. FC Union Berlin
(Stadion An der Alten Försterei)

HOLLAND

AZ Alkmaar
(Alkmaarder Hout)

AZ Alkmaar
(Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam)

FC Dordrecht
(GN Bouw Stadion)

FC Groningen
(Euroborg)

FC Utrecht
(Galgenwaard Stadion)

Feyenoord
(De Kuip)

NEC Nijmegen
(Goffert Stadium)

PEC Zwolle
(Oosterenkstadion)

PSV Eindhoven
(Philips Stadion)

SC Heerenveen
(Abe Lenstra Stadium)

Twente Enschede
(Arke Stadion)

Twente Enschede
(Diekman Stadion)

Vitesse Arnhem
(Gelredome)

Willem II
(Willem II Stadion)

IRELAND

Bray Wanderers
(Carlisle Grounds)

Dublin City
(Tolka Park)

ITALY

Inter Milan
(San Siro)

LUXEMBOURG

Avenir Beggen
(Stade Josy-Barthel)

NORWAY

Skeid Oslo
(Ulevall)

POLAND

Widzew Lodz
(Stadion LKS)

SPAIN

Barcelona
(Nou Camp)

Real Madrid
(San Bernabeu)

Valencia
(Luis Casanova)

SWEDEN

Orgryte IS
(Gamla Ullevi (Old))

Helsingborgs IF
(Olympia Stadium)

Landskrona Bois
(Idrottspark)

Malmo FF
(Malmo Stadion)

Mjallby AIF
(Strandvallen)

Trelleborgs FF
(Vangavallen)

IFK Goteborg
(Ullevi)

USA

Chicago Sting
(Comiskey Park I)

Chicago Sting
(Wrigley Field)

Chicago Sting
(Chicago Stadium)

Chicago Sting
(Rosemont Horizon)

Chicago Sting
(Rockford MetroCenter)

Chicago Vultures
(Odeum)

Milwaukee Bavarians
(Bavarian Center)

Schwaben AC
(Schwaben Center)

Tampa Bay Rowdies
(Tampa Bay Stadium)