Sunday, 10 April 2011

Another Northern League Day


View from the car park
Hopperational details
Date & Venue:  Saturday 9 April at Við Margáir, Streymnes
Result: EB/Streymur 2 Víkingur 1
Competition:  Faroese Meistaradeildin (Highest Tier).  This is the opening weekend of the new season.  The games are played on artificial surfaces because of the prevailing climate.
Hopping: Venue #385 on my lifetime list and the first of the trip.

Pre-match entertainment
The day started with a very pleasant flight with SAS to Copenhagen, including a view of Wembley stadium from the air.  There was time to sample a Danish pastry before the connecting Atlantic Airways flight to Vágar, the Faroese national airport.  I was tempted by the Lego Technic, but showed restraint.  As I walked to my hire car, a herd of sheep scuttled through the car park towards the terminal.  I have a good feeling about this trip.  I then had a leisurely and spectacular drive to the ground.  Streymnes is on Stremoy, one of the 18 islands, and is reached from the airport on Vágar by undersea tunnel.

This match in one sentence
EB/Streymur edged an encounter between two well-matched sides, but needed a disputed penalty winner just before the break.
Alex tucks away the penalty

So what?
This is the very first fixture of the 2011 season.  The league has 10 teams, and there are three more games on Sunday and one on Monday to complete the first round.  EB/Streymur were runners-up last year and will be remembered by Manchester City supporters from a Europa League fixture.

The drama unfolds 

Apologies for the camera shake - it was a bit windy!

Both teams made a cagey start - the conditions looked tricky with a strong and gusty wind across the pitch, but in the end it made less difference than I’d feared at the start.  Víkingur had the better of the early half-chances, but they were caught napping with a calm finish from Levi Hanssen, as shown in this next clip.  1-0

However, only four minutes later the home keeper was beaten to the ball in the air.  My notes gave it to a looping header by Hans Jørgen Djurhuus but the news sources have Sølvi Vatnhamar who may have got the last touch as defender Gert Åge Hansen tried an overhead kick on the line to keep it out.  1-1

Just before half-time, EB/S #14 Daniel Udsen made a strong run into the penalty area and was tripped.  The spot-kick was awarded despite the visitors’ protests and Alex José dos Santos stepped up to convert.  2-1 at half-time

At half-time … the children in the crowd had a kick about.  On this surface, it was fine.

The second-half was also very even, and both sides could have scored.  The visitors managed a sustained period of about ten minutes of pressure, but failed to score and the home side weathered the storm.  The home and away #23s both caught the eye.  EB/S’s Leif Niclasen caused a lot of problems on the right-wing.  Víkingur’s Niclas Niclassen was an experienced midfielder who won the ball often and rarely gave it away.  The home supporters seemed particularly delighted when he joined three home players in the ref’s book, so I expect he has “previous”, as they say.  2-1 at full-time

What I learned today
From the Atlantic Airways in-flight magazine:  the genetic makeup of the islanders is of great interest for medical researchers.  The population, for historical reasons, has a relatively uniform genetic profile.  The original settlers were from other parts of Scandinavia, perhaps fleeing persecution or taxation, with some from Britain.  It is thought that most of the women came from the British Isles.  It is easier for researchers to study the design of possible drugs and medicines with such a population.

Learn Faroese through football
Leygardagur  Saturday
Komandi dystir  forthcoming fixtures
Friskur vindur  Fresh breeze

What Next?
Newly-promoted 07 Vestur take on B36 of Tórshavn on Sunday afternoon.

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