fussball. teil eins
FC VIKTORIA KOLN 1 WUPPERTALER SV 1
Sportpark Hohenberg, Koln
Gate € 15
Programme € 5
When Mrs Chion said she wanted to do some decorating and wanted me out of the way, who am I to challenge being sent away for the weekend. First thought, where do Ryanair fly to that’s cheap, Cologne it is. Well it might be, let’s look at the fixtures, all 3 Koln teams at home. Booked.
Fortuna at home Friday, Viktoria on the Saturday and FC on the Sunday. Then plans changed. First of all I was offered the chance of another game on the Sunday with a one off experience. So FC was off. Then Viktoria’s game was switched to the Friday. Decision to be made, Viktoria winning by the sheer fact there ground doesn’t have an athletics track around it.
Mr O’Leary’s airline dropped me at Bonn Airport, I honestly cannot remember going to an ex-Capital city before, certainly one that had been changed relatively recently. Train to Cologne and out of the station to one of the most breathtaking sights ever. Gary Langley described it in a tweet as off the scale, you are not wrong there sir. A 20 minute stroll later and I was at my hotel.
Once sorted, it was back off to the centre and to catch the number 1 tram out to Sportpark Hohenberg. Alighting at Frankfurter Str. the ground was a 5 minutes stroll through a park. I had already purchased my ticket over the interweb and was soon inside as the rain started to fall. After purchasing my programme, I found my seat, directly behind the hosts dugout and settled in for the evening.
Viktoria were sitting pretty on top of the West Division of the 4th tier of German football, their opponents not too far behind in seventh, 10 points adrift but with a game in hand. Wuppertaler’s fans who had made the journey were making theemselves heard pre-match and as the sides came out they turned the volume up again, flares and fireworks followed. Cannot beat a bit of pyro can you?
It was the hosts that started the brighter, testing Mross early on before they took the lead in the 8th minute, the ball working its way to the on rushing right back Lang who unleashed an unstoppable drive past the visiting keeper, 1-0 to Viktoria. All this did was wake WSV and they brought themselves into the game fairly quickly looking dangerous on the attack, especially down their right wing. In the 20th minute they had the ball in the net with a header from a corner, the referee ruling it out, I have no idea what for, but he was a fair few yards closer to the action than I was.
Both sides continued to threaten for the rest of the half without seriously testing the opposition keeper. Overall Viktoria slightly shaded the opening 45, but only just
H-T: FC Viktoria Koln 1 Wuppertaler SV 0
If the hosts had the better of the opening 45, then it was the visitors who had the better of the second, in fact in the end, it was only a fantastic save from Patzler that earned them a point.
WSV started on the front foot and had a go at the league leaders from the off, they built the pressure up bit by bit, but Viktoria were resisting and looking dangerous on the break. The visitors using both wings as the hosts used their pace, it was a contest that was opening up more and more.
The visitors must a thought that it really was not going to be their day when a looping cross from Heidemann was left by Patzler, the ball bouncing on top of the bar and over, much to the relief of the hosts bench. The away fans didn’t have to wait too long for a goal though, just minutes later Kramer turned a Dowidat cross past Patzler leaving the keeper wrong-footed and stranded to the spot, 1-1, it was no more than WSV deserved.
Both sides went for it, with play moving quickly from end to end, it was Wuppertaler who came closest to winning it right at the death when an effort from Wirtz rolled agonisingly wide.
As the final whistle went, Viktoria were probably a tad relieved as I would bet the hosts had mixed feelings, a point away at the league leaders is never to be sniffed at, but they came oh so close to getting all 3.
F-T: FC Viktoria Koln 1 Wuppertaler SV 0
Out into the chilly Cologne evening and retrace my steps and tram journey back to my hotel.
Tomorrow was going to be a busy day.
Games since a 0-0: 5
Milestone: 1st ever match in Germany, my 10th country.
Random Fact: This was the 6th different country of my season, in order, Scotland, Serbia, England, Poland and Wales leading up to Germany.