Monday, September 6, 2010

2012 Euro Qualifier - September 3rd, 2010 - Slovakia 1 Macedonia 0

2012 Euro Qualifier - September 3rd, 2010
Slovakia 1 Macedonia 0
Attendance: 5500 (250 away supporters)
Admission: 7.5 euros (away section)

I made the rather short trip to Bratislava by train via Brno on Friday for the Euro qualifier. I have been to the city before, but never for a football match. The city centre is beautiful and quite compact.

The game was played at Pasiensky Stadium, which is the current home of Slovan Bratislava, and once home of Inter Bratislava. Tehelne Stadion was the national stadium, however, it is waiting demolition. After talking to a few Slovaks, they felt like the new stadium will never be built. Pasiensky is basically just a big bowl with a few seats on one side covered. Everything else is left to the mercy of the weather. It is a little far to walk from the city centre, but can easily be reached by tram.

As this was the first game for both teams in qualifiers, I was expecting a tight game. Macedonia is a tough team for anyone to play. The first half was rather boring with almost nothing happening. The visitors packed the box, and the hosts couldn't break them down. In the second half, there were two bizarre red cards given to the Macedonians. The first one was a second yellow card, after an injured player crossed back on to the pitch by the corner flag. This was soon followed by their coach getting a red card after he ran on to the pitch to break up the players on both teams pushing each other. Strangely enough, the Slovak keeper pushed a Macedonian player down. It was an act which deserved a red card, but in the end he got nothing. Predictably, the Slovaks scored in injury time to take the three points. Macedonia just couldn't get their heads back into the game.

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