May 23, 2009
Gambrinus Liga (1st tier)
Banik Ostrava 1 Sigma Olomouc 1
attendance: 2417 (away support 40)
game rating: 7/10
This was my second trip to Ostrava to see Sigma Olomuc play, as I went to the last game of the 2005/06 season. The stadium is easy enough to reach from the main train station. You just have to take one of the trolley buses, I think 101, and 104. Basically just look for the stop Stadion Bazaly.
I've been following Sigma Olomouc since 2000 when I spent a few months studying at the university in Olomouc. One of my highlights in my supporting Olomouc would definitely have to be going to Sarajevo in August 2002 to watch Sigma play in a UEFA Cup tie against FK Sarajevo. I haven't been able to attend as many Sigma games this year as I would like, so I decided to make the short trip to Ostrava.
Banik supporters have the reputation of being one of the most passionate in all of the Czech Republic. So, when away supporters go to Ostrava, they are usually followed by police, and for this game was no exception. As far as I could tell, there were absolutely no problems on the day between the groups of supporters.
Sigma supporters don't travel in great numbers, but they can always be found at every game across the country. Banik supporters probably travel in the biggest numbers out of all the clubs in the Czech Republic. Two weeks ago, the majority of them left Ostrava around 4am for a game in Ceske Budejovice, only to end up not watching the game. It turned out Ceske Budejovice decided to charge Banik fans 190kc for a ticket, which was almost double the normal price. Needless to say, most of the Banik fans stayed out of the ground as a way of protest.
Banik has had some problems, on and off the pitch, over the past few months. The team is underperforming, and the fans are staying away, which explains the very small attendance against Sigma.
As for the game, Sigma was unlucky not to come away with three points, as they reduced Banik Ostrava to counter-attack football for most of the game. In the end, it was a late goal from a free kick which salvaged a point for Olomouc.