Thursday, June 29, 2006

Kaiserslautern

I didn't really get to see much of Kaiserslautern. I arrrived a few minutes before kick off, had a beer and then walked to the stadium. However the atmosphere at Kaiserslautern was really good. It was a bit like a carnival with lots of (very drunk) people milling about, singing and dancing. There was a large square that had been turned into a fan area and there was a tremendously loud soundsystem which seemed to be filling all of the surrounding streets with music.

Kaiserslautern Street

There was an huge disparity in the number of people supporting Trinidad & Tobago when compared to the number supporting Paraguay, so the streets were turned into a sea of red flowing towards the stadium.

Kaiserslautern Street

The Fritz-Walter Stadion (named for Fritz Walter, the captain of Germany’s 1954 Cup winning side) is new and has great facilities. It was packed to bursting with people and the atmosphere at the beginning of the match was fantastic.

Fritz-Walter Stadion

The match itself was a bit dissapointing, Trinidad & Tobago played with a lot of spirit but Paraguay was the technically better team, keeping their shape a lot better and sticking to their game plan. Both teams had a lot of opportunities to score. Paraguay scored about half way through the first half and after that made Trinidad & Tobago come to them trying to catch them on the break.

In the second half Trinidad & Tobago started very tentatively but then as the minutes ticked away decided to go for it. They made a lot of attacks but Paraguay's defence more or less had the measure of them.

Towards the end of the game Paraguay scored again and thats how the game finished.

The journey back to Karlsruhe was interesting, the trains stopped at every station and were like the tube during rush hour! Poor dutch guy who was sat opposite to us kept saying "its not normal" or "there shouldn't be this many people on the train" under his breath every few minutes for about an hour.

It took about two and a half hours to get to Karlsruhe because there were not any direct trains and we had to change in a few places. I didn't get back to the hotel untill just after 02:00. Just as I was makng myself ready for a well earned sleep the widlfowl on the lake in the zoo starting their dawn chorus! It was awful, it was very loud and it went on for two hours!

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