Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Never! A Lucky Gift for Horsens in the Goalmouth

This man had a very bad day at the office
Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Monday 29 October 2012 at the CASA Arena
AC Horsens 1 FC København 0
Danish Superliga (top tier)
Last hop of this trip (the fifth) and number 491 on the lifetime list.
Pre-match preparation
An Autumnal morning walk around Himmelbjerget enjoying the solitude and the colours, and a quick afternoon stomp round Aarhus.  For the evening game, FC København will start as favourites since they are league leaders and I will have the Horsens sausages for my tea.

Aarhus, in the middle of a street ... Madness
This match in one sentence
The league leaders failed to turn up, and although the goal was a gift, the win was well-deserved.
So what?
FCK still lead the league by three points, AC Horsens are seventh, and fourteen rounds of games have been completed.  The headline in the paper is "Kielstrup Sagde Tak" ... Kielstrup Says Thanks.
The drama unfolds
Table-toppers FCK hit the post with an early header but actually Horsens had the better of the early exchanges.  After 11 minutes André Bjerregaard and Jude Nworuh combined well and the latter's shot rolled to safety off the post.  Kim Christensen in the visiting goal had his final good moment of the evening a few seconds later as he blocked a Nworuh effort.  He then fluffed his handling at the ensuing corner but got away with it.  I took my scene-setter clip after 15 minutes and captured a fine tackle by Horsens' Thomas Kortegaard.

Nothing much happened of note for a few minutes.  Horsens' approach play was pretty and you wouldn't have known that København were league leaders.  The only goal of the game was a gift.  Christensen, under no particular pressure, passed straight out to Steffen Kielstrup in a central position.  He took a touch to flick it up off the ground before he belted it back over the retreating keeper.  Two defenders took the trouble to go and console him.  No-one else anywhere near me cared. 1-0

It could have so easily been 3-0 within a couple of minutes.   First Bjerregaard just failed to get a touch to a through ball and then a shot was deflected on to the bar.  Horsens' first task was to get to half-time in the lead, and despite starting to defend a bit too deep they did so easily enough.  1-0 at half-time

Horsens kept their defensive line higher and by the time they got to 60 minutes on the clock their keeper had only one punch to make.  København were out of sorts and if anything the home team looked more likely to score.  My second clip from 66 minutes has a chance at each end.

These short clips are from 77, 84 and 86 minutes as København finally threw more men forward.  Horsens had to defend one of the corners with ten men as someone got treatment.

The window of opportunity for a dramatic finish was opened with a second yellow card in the last minutes for Mads Agesen.  Here's the incident and you are the ref - did he deserve that?

The last clip is from stoppage time as Horsens held on, defending a couple of set pieces to take all three points.  Final score 1-0

The programme

Something random - hopping in Denmark
I've thoroughly enjoyed this Jutland trip.  I flew from Stansted to Billund and used a hotel in Herning as a base.  The driving in rural Denmark is a pleasure.  Everyone spoke English really well, it has to be said, so my attempts at the local language were confined to reading rather than speaking.  Especially when the hotel receptionist turned out to be Bulgarian.

Even though I managed to avoid the English, I couldn't avoid the English Premier League.  It's everywhere - I could even have bought a Manchester United shirt in the shop at Esbjerg's Blue Water stadium, for crying out loud.  Fortunately I had cleaned my boots earlier in the day.  My newspaper of choice for the week (BT - it's tabloidish and has lots of piccies and short sentences) gave more coverage to the EPL than to the second tier of Danish football.  To be fair, they give priority to tracking Danish international players, and so there is coverage of important games in La Liga and Die Bundesliga too.  There are other sporting alternatives - as it happens I found football every day but there are alternatives in ice hockey, handball and basketball.  For hopping purposes, staggered ko times mean that there are good chances of a daily double.

The stadia were all less than half-full for the games I attended - so parking was easy if you turn up early enough, and getting away not too bad - and with a family atmosphere, plenty of mums and children in attendance too.  The away supporters were noisier, as usual.  The cost of a match ticket plus programme was around £12-£16 at today's exchange rate depending on where you chose to stand or sit.  Given that these are visually interesting and well-equipped stadia, it's astonishingly good value.  How the Superliga is surviving at this standard with crowds of a few thousand is amazing really.  They deserve better - as it happens, all the games I saw were tight affairs, with the result in doubt right to the final whistle, and as a passing neutral that's what I like more than anything.

For your pre-match food, embrace the sausage is my advice, and don't hold back on the condiments.  Repeat.

The style was continental with triangles, by and large, not played at a frenetic and lung-bursting pace but a nice change from the athleticism and percentage plays of the English leagues.  I hope I get a chance to go again and tick off some more.  Thanks for your interest in my latest ramblings.
Hopping for Moorfields Update
The five-match Danish trip, with 12 goals in 5 games, has brought the rolling average down a bit.  However, with 102 goals in 28 games we are still well within the bounds of pre-season expectation and a penny-a-goal pledge will be between two and three pounds, still less than the price of your Danish pre-match sausage.  You can add a pledge via Twitter or by email on headyapp(at) and I will ask you to pay up at the end of the season.
What Next?
A pile of laundry.  Other than that, not sure - follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter for any announcements.

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