Sverige - Nordirland Fotball

Stockholm Travel Blog

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Its been a few days since I’ve written - last week was incredibly busy with work. Although last Wednesday offered a nice reprieve from the busy week. The client for my current project is Scandic hotels. They were the primary sponsor of the Sweden-North Ireland EuroCup 2008 soccer qualifier game at Rasunda stadium (a large sports stadium two metro stops away from me). As a result, they had quite a few tickets and were nice enough to give the Sapient team tickets to the game.

The one issue with the game being two stops away is that everyone took the metro thus I was soo wedged into the car I was able to not hold onto anything and still manage to stay up right. Arriving at the stadium, I had visions of Hammerby Hockey fans… I’m still amazed at how the two teams’ fans are separated into their respective sections. The North Irish got one small sliver of stadium wedged together like green beans on a platter.

The seats were great, 18 rows back in between the 30 and midfield lines. Weather was beautiful soccer weather. Crisp but not cold. Clear skies and no wind. I wish I was out there with my boots on. The two teams Sweden and North Ireland were meeting for a qualifying match for the 2008 EuroCup. Sweden is actually a pretty good team but tonight it was a tale of two halves. Our seats, ideally, ended up being on both offensive sides for each half. The first half we watched Sweden control the game and set up a pretty one-two pass goal and then the next half we watched North Ireland charge back, care of a phenomal curling, upper right corner ball (by Kyle Lafferty of Burnley). We had a great view as the North Ireland player dribbled down our side (the left side) cut back at the thirty and drove a shot that equalized the game.

Sweden seemed to wake up after that and pushed a little on offense, but they looked pretty flat the whole second half. I commented to Petter that the Sweden team didn’t deserve to win that half - the North Irish just wanted it more. To my disappointed, there was no overtime and we left with a disappointing 1-1 draw. Zlatan Ibrahimovc was one of the more exciting players out there for the Swedes. Zlatan plays for Inter Milan and as a tall almost un-natural striker for the Sweden National team. His touch was incredible and was able to feed the ball to other places incredibly. Unfortunately he missed an open header at the 90th minute to break the draw so he drops a level in my book.

Overall it was a great experience as this was my first international soccer game. Hopefully in March/April, I will see another game in one of the premier leagues (German, Italian, English or Spanish) or an Ajax game. Going to see a FC Barcelona game and watch some really really good players sounds awesome.

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photo by: Chokk