Top 5 games attended ever.

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sjc_three
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Top 5 games attended ever.

Postby sjc_three » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:56 pm

Thought this might be an interesting one to start as a thread. I'll kick things off with my 5. Struggling to actually put them in order, so have just put them in date order, with no specific preference.

West Ham v Man Utd, 1995. (I remember hearing a saying once that if you sit by the river long enough, you'll see your enemies float by. I saw Paul Ince float by that day and the bastard was wearing a runners up medal. Yes, I know that the greatest moment I have in my entire supporting life does not involve us winning, but another team losing - so you don't need to remind me! We beat Liverpool 3-0 the previous Wednesday though to stay up, so it was a double celebration that weekend really.)

England v Scotland, 1996. (Gazza scored that goal, followed by the dentist chair celebration.)

Hereford v Brighton, 1997. (It was the ultimate final game of the season. One team was going to get relegated to the non-League. Brighton needed a draw after clawing back 11 points in the last few weeks of a dramatic season of ups and downs on and off the pitch. 1-0 down, Brighton equalised with 10 minutes to go. Man and beast cried with joy. It was a beautiful day.)

Germany v England, 2001. (5-1. Enough said.)

England v Argentina, 2002. (A childhood of pain and suffering at hands of Argentina wiped out in one magnificent day!)

So let's have yours folks!

P.S. As a couple of side notes.
The 5 games I laid down as must sees before I die.
Rangers v Celtic (Done a cup semi at Hampden, but doesn't count for me. Has to be at Ibrox.)
Feyenoord v Ajax (Done)
Roma v Lazio (Yet to do)
Barcelona v Real (Must be at the Nou Camp. Yet to do.)
Boca Juniors v River Plate (Yet to do)

Some games I didn't get that I wish I had.
West Ham v Forest, FA Cup semi final, 1991. (The only tickets my Dad could find were corporate and hideously expensive, so we didn't go. The game went down in West Ham legend and I looking back I wish I would have put a little more pressure on the old man to fork out for it!)
England v Germany, 2000. (It was the one game in Euro 2000 I couldn't find a ticket for at a decent price, so we went to watch Romania v Portugal in Arnhem instead and caught the England game in the pub. Everyone I know who went said it was one of the best days out they'd ever had following England. There's a big part of me that wishes I'd just bitten the bullet and forked out for a ticket on that one.)
England v Argentina, 2005 (The game in Switzerland. It was a friendly and we'd either just had our son, or he was due soon after, so I just knocked it on the head. Again everyone I know who went said it was one of the best trips ever and my usual group had the pleasure of the Argentina squad walking past in the airport to hysterical laughter from all concerned. Apparently, they were less than pleased. Oh, how I wish I could have seen it, let alone been contributing to the laughter!)

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Re: Top 5 games attended ever.

Postby MipoFanatic » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:29 am

Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (15 Sept 2002) USL A-League playoff quarter-finals, second leg

Seattle was an absolute monster in the league that season, winning a bye to the second round of the playoffs. Their ground was veritable fortress for them, so when Vancouver won the first leg 2-0 at home, we were still apprehensive about the second leg down in Seattle. But it turned out that winning the league very early and also having a playoff first-round bye made Seattle's squad very rusty, so Vancouver was able to hammer than 2-6 in their ground, for an aggregate 8-2 scoreline. Now THAT was a fun bus ride home.

Konkuk University vs. Busan I'cons (21 Nov 2003) Korean FA Cup, first-round proper

It was exactly six years and one day after Busan Daewoo Royals were dumped out of the 1997 Korean FA Cup in the first round by Housing & Commercial Bank after penalties. Spin forward to 2003, and Ian Porterfield's first K-League season in charge of Busan I'cons had just finished poorly, with the club struggling to finish above league newcomers Daegu FC and Gwangju Sangmu Bulsajo. Busan's year of misfortune was capped off by getting dumped out of the FA Cup in the first round by Konkuk University in penalties.

The match was played at the Namhae Sports Park's main pitch (one of my favourite grounds in Korea, I should say) on an extremely windy day - three layers of clothing was no match for the gusty ocean winds. Busan twice fell behind and equalized, and both sides went through extra time without any goals. When extra time came to an end, all of the Busan supporters rushed onto the side of the pitch (which the referee allowed) and started banging a drum (which the referee didn't allow). One of Busan's key foreign players missed a penalty, which helped sink Busan to defeat. Rumour swirled that the player in question intentionally missed his penalty as a way at getting back at the gaffer before leaving the club - but more on that in my upcoming book. :smt112

Incidentally, Suwon and Anyang (now FC Seoul) were both also knocked out of the FA Cup in that same round by amateur sides - despite Suwon having just qualified for the Asian Champions League!

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Puerto Rico Islanders (12 Oct 2008) USL-1 playoff final

Vancouver and Puerto Rico engaged in an exciting contest during the regular season to see who would finish top, one which Puerto Rico won by a single point, thanks in part to a late goal in a match between the two sides in Puerto Rico. When the two sides ended up facing each other in the playoff final, the higher-seeded club was supposed to host the match. However, Fox Soccer Channel couldn't be arsed moving their camera equipment from Vancouver (where they had filmed a semi-final match) all the way down to Puerto Rico, so the league decided that Vancouver could host the final! Puerto Rico were understandably outraged, and with home advantage, Vancouver went on to final the championship. Puerto Rico remained bitter, and referred to themselves as the true champions on their official club website. :lol: Here's a photo gallery on Flickr of the post-match.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Toronto FC (2 June 2009) Voyageurs Cup

The Voyageurs Cup is played between Canada's three professional clubs: Vancouver Whitecaps (USL-1), Montreal Impact (USL-1) and Toronto FC (Major League Soccer), and since 2008 has been used to determine Canada's entrant into the CONCACAF Champions League. Toronto, being in the higher league, have always been favoured to win; but Montreal won the 2008 Voyageurs Cup, and in doing so were the first Canadian club to enter the Champions League, where they managed to go all the way to the quarter-finals of the competiton (despite being perceived as a second-division club), and were narrowly knocked out by defending Mexican league champions Santos Laguna.

A bit of background: supporters of Vancouver and Montreal don't like Toronto FC, and we particularly don't like their supporters, who we refer to as "plastics". Toronto had a club in the USL-1 (Toronto Lynx), but Toronto's glory-hunting snobs couldn't be arsed to support the club. So come 2007, when Toronto suddenly has a new club created for MLS, suddenly they are selling out their stadium each and every week, and these arrogant twats even have the gull to start lecturing Vancouverites and Montrealers how to properly support a football club. :smt093 So when Toronto FC came to Vancouver for a Voyageurs Cup, we were elated when we smoked them 2-0, despite Vancouver technically being in an inferior league. :smt098 For the previous few months, we had been taunting Toronto's supporters as being "plastic", which was proving effective at winding them up; so we brought a bunch of plastic blow-up dolls, put them in mock Toronto FC kit, and lined them up in the front row of the corner of the stadium. The match commentators even showed and mentioned them during half-time to a national audience. :lol: (And yes, that's me smooching one of them in this photo gallery.)

The tournament ended badly, however. The final match of this round-robin cup tournament was Montreal (who were already eliminated) vs. Toronto. Toronto needed to win at Montreal's stadium to match Vancouver on points, and had to beat Montreal by four goals in order to better Vancouver's goal difference. Toronto FC were shit in the league that year (to this day, they still have never qualified for the MLS playoffs), so we thought there was no way they were good enough to get such a result. But as Montreal were already eliminated, and were due to play Vancouver in the USL-1 two days later, Montreal decided to play their reserve side in the Voyageurs Cup match. Toronto won 6-1, and thus qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League. In the end, Vancouverites had the last laugh, as Toronto were knocked out of the Champions League by USL-1 club Puerto Rico during the qualifying round. :smt098

As for a fifth match... probably something from non-league Hanwell Town's 2003-04 season... but I'll dig that up once my book is finished. :albino:
Last edited by MipoFanatic on Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Top 5 games attended ever.

Postby Gerd Bibimbapper » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:25 am

Thought this might be an interesting one to start as a thread. I'll kick things off with my 5. Struggling to actually put them in order, so have just put them in date order, with no specific preference.


Great idea for a thread, sjc_three!
I might need a bit of time to narrow it down to 5 though as I do go back rather a long way and will need to think about what 'top' really means to me...

Hopefully though I can come up with something before MipoFanatic's book hits the shops! :lol:

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Re: Top 5 games attended ever.

Postby Gerd Bibimbapper » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:07 pm

England v Argentina, 2002. (A childhood of pain and suffering at hands of Argentina wiped out in one magnificent day!)


I remember watching this in a packed smoky den in Shizuoka and the place erupting at the final whistle - fantastic memories of a superb tournament.

sjc_three, are you as delighted at the prospect of us playing pantomime-villain El Cheato and his wicked band of brothers again as I am, or would you rather we were playing Uruguay or Costa Rica, just to be on the safe side?
Just curious... :lol:

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Re: Top 5 games attended ever.

Postby sjc_three » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:38 pm

What a cracking selection, Mipo and VERY different to my own, but equally passionate. It always fascinates me the rivalries that exist the world over.

Gerd Bibimbapper wrote:
England v Argentina, 2002. (A childhood of pain and suffering at hands of Argentina wiped out in one magnificent day!)


I remember watching this in a packed smoky den in Shizuoka and the place erupting at the final whistle - fantastic memories of a superb tournament.

sjc_three, are you as delighted at the prospect of us playing pantomime-villain El Cheato and his wicked band of brothers again as I am, or would you rather we were playing Uruguay or Costa Rica, just to be on the safe side?
Just curious... :lol:


As delighted as I would have been to see Argentina fail to qualify, I would LOVE to draw them again, probably preferably in the group stage again. In terms of highs and lows, I can't think of another country that has created more emotion in my (England) supporting life than Argentina. And in a funny way, I treasure the lows almost as much as the highs.

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Re: Top 5 games attended ever.

Postby Holyjoe » Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:19 am

As an Aberdeen and Scotland fan I'm struggling to come up with even two or three really great games involving either side! None of the Scotland games I've been to either home or away are memorable for the right reasons so this is what I can come up with at the moment:

1) Brazil 5-2 Costa Rica (2002 World Cup)
This was the first time I'd seen Brazil play, and they were exactly how you'd want Brazil to play on the first occasion you see them. Absolutely mesmerising stuff, they went 3-0 up by late in the first half and that was without ever really leaving second gear, but Costa Rica were playing magnificently themselves and on another day against almost any other team in the world then they'd be comfortable winners. Costa Rica pulled a goal back close to half time, and then grabbed a second just after the break. This pissed Brazil off so they stepped things up a couple of gears to stretch it to 5-2 by the hour mark and that was game over. Every single player in a yellow shirt made everything seem so effortless that day, and Costa Rica were just unfortunate that being on the top of their game was never going to be enough.

2) Suwon 1-0 Barcelona (2004 friendly)
Perfection on so many levels. More in this thread.

3) Rep. of Ireland 1-1 Spain (Spain won 3-2 on penalties, 2002 World Cup)
Yet another brilliant game from 2002.. Spain took an early lead and Ireland then threw everything at them. Ian Harte missed a penalty before Robbie Keane equalised from the spot in injury time. They battered Spain in extra time but couldn't find a winner, and then lost out on penalties. The Suwon World Cup stadium was jammed full of Irish fans and it made for a cracking atmosphere too.

4) Incheon Korail 1-1 FC Seoul (FC Seoul won 5-3 on penalties, 2007 Korean FA Cup)
This is one of those daft games when you feel unbelievably proud of a team for reasons that non-football folk just don't understand. I'd been to pretty much every Korail home game throughout 2006 and the start of 2007, as well as a number of away matches, so I had to engineer a way to get out of work to make the 4pm kick-off for this game against the evilest of evil K-League sides. I'd been impressed by how the new boss had got the team playing and the wannabe talent scout in me had pinpointed a couple of Korail players that looked as if they could hold their own at a higher level, so I was looking forward to seeing how they got on. One of them was Kim Min-su, who put Korail ahead in this game and really did impress against the Sangam Satans. He went on to play for Daejeon Citizen and now Incheon United so I'm following his career with interest. Korail really did put Seoul to the sword that day but they ran out of steam towards the end and the bastards equalised and then went on to win in the shootout.

5) Aberdeen 2-0 Hibernian (2001 SPL)
I thought I should include an Aberdeen game out of the hundreds I'd been to, but very few stood out. I was at the 1990 Scottish Cup final win but that was a deadly dull affair and I didn't really fully appreciate the significance of the win at the time, and since then I've not really been to any absolutely standout matches - they've been varying degrees of shitness for longer than I care to remember. This game was memorable for the fact that both Aberdeen goals came in the final three minutes, but the second goal was one of the best moments I've seen at a game. Robbie Winters headed home the first, which meant that Hibs decided to throw everything at the Dons defence for the remainder of the game and sent their goalkeeper up for a couple of injury-time corners. This in itself isn't entirely unusual, but rarely do you see the ball break to a player on the defending team just outside his own box, who suddenly finds himself with the rest of the pitch between himself and the opposition goal completely empty of players. For the entire time it took Hicham Zerouali to run up to their penalty box and slot the ball home we knew we were going to score, and it's not often you get that kind of feeling. Winning a trophy would probably top that, but I won't know about that for a while...

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Re: Top 5 games attended ever.

Postby sjc_three » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:26 pm

MipoFanatic wrote:For the previous few months, we had been taunting Toronto's supporters as being "plastic", which was proving effective at winding them up; so we brought a bunch of plastic blow-up dolls, put them in mock Toronto FC kit, and lined them up in the front row of the corner of the stadium. The match commentators even showed and mentioned them during half-time to a national audience. :lol: (And yes, that's me smooching one of them in this photo gallery.)


lol - only just clicked this open to see it was in fact sex dolls. Brilliant mate. One of the things that I love the about this board is the number if times if jogs memories of my own! Me and a mate took a sex doll with us to an England game in Sweden in 98 and stuck her in the back seat of the car wearing an IFK Gothenburg shirt for the entire trip. Best moment was probably at customs, who had already stripped searched us as obvious drug dealers as we'd hired the car in Amsterdam. I say obvious; we were both in England shirts with match tickets in our wallets a few days before the match. So, I mean obvious to Swedish customs officials. They took everything out of the car as well of course and saved their most convincing look of disgust when they removed our sweetheart, Helga, from the back seat. In fact, she went down (boom boom) like a lead balloon pretty much wherever we went. Much of Sweden seem to support IFK, so they all thought (correctly) that we were taking the piss. Plus, the match itself was at Hammerby's stadium, who absolutely despise IFK, so she wasn't too welcome there either, poor girl!

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Re: Top 5 games attended ever.

Postby Gerd Bibimbapper » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:36 am

lol - only just clicked this open to see it was in fact sex dolls. Brilliant mate. One of the things that I love the about this board is the number if times if jogs memories of my own!


Indeed. On the above subject, I can confirm sightings of the Posh Spice Blow-up Doll (customized) at England v Nigeria and Denmark in Japan in June 2002! :-)

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Re: Top 5 games attended ever.

Postby Rothesay Saint » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:53 am

Gerd Bibimbapper wrote:
lol - only just clicked this open to see it was in fact sex dolls. Brilliant mate. One of the things that I love the about this board is the number if times if jogs memories of my own!


Indeed. On the above subject, I can confirm sightings of the Posh Spice Blow-up Doll (customized) at England v Nigeria and Denmark in Japan in June 2002! :-)


I know a song about a Posh Spice blow up doll but I'll save it for another time. :albino:
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Re: Top 5 games attended ever.

Postby Cyclops » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:10 am

I was intending to put some serious thought to this but it could be next year before I get round to it, so decided to dive straight in with a selection of highlights from the different teams I have been cursed with the misfortune to care about.

1. Bromley 1-0 Sutton FA Cup 4th qualifying round October 1996 - beat our hated rivals with a scrappy late goal and got to the first round proper for the first time in over 20 years. We pulled a team from our own division out the velvet hat 20 minutes later which took the gloss of it, but the minutes immediately after the final whistle were the best feeling I've ever had as a football fan, a collective outpouring of extreme joy after years of abject despair!

2. Ayr 2-0 Kilmarnock Scottish Cup 4th round (?) circa January late 90s - Ayr (my dad's team) had been languishing in the lower leagues for 2 decades (it's now 3!), while the despised Killie had recently established themselves again as a solid top division side. They hadn't played each other at Somerset Park for a few years, and Killie were red-hot favourites. Completely packed old terraced ground, a smell of pure hatred in the air, awful pitch, shocking conditions, and Ayr pulled off a big upset with a couple of late goals. Mental.

3. England 1-0 Argentina 2002 World Cup Group Stage - I don't hate Argentina and I have no more sympathy with British claims on the Malvinas/Falklands than I would with Argentina if they decided to claim the Isle of Wight, but the World Cup only comes round every 4 years and it always hurts to go out of it, so this mattered a lot. If we'd lost in Sapporo we'd have been 5 points behind Argentina and 3 points behind Sweden with those 2 due to play each other in the last game, so this was effectively a knockout game for England. Argentina seemed to have about 90 per cent of possession in the 2nd half while England hung onto a narrow lead, and I didn't enjoy a single second of it, but the relief when the final whistle went was brilliant, and it meant my own Japan adventure would likely last a week or two longer.

4. Berwick Rangers P-P - I watched Berwick home and away for 4 years when I lived in the NE of England, but although it was great fun absolutely nothing memorable happened on the football pitch during that time, so I'll leave this blank!

5. Anyang v Suwon - Every single one of these games was great, packed stadiums, crazy flares and fireworks that I'd only seen on TV coverage of south American football, and a mad atmosphere (I guess a lot of the stadium was full of families eating gimbap and chatting, but in the fog of red smoke behind the goal looking at the blue smoke at the other end with the pitch obscured by white smoke from fireworks it didn't really matter what anyone else was doing!) It was just after the World Cup so crowds of 30,000 or so standard. I'd seen football in a few countries before I came to Korea, but nothing like this. I saw Anyang win and lose these games but don't remember the details, only the occasion. RIP.

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Re: Top 5 games attended ever.

Postby eujin » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:04 am

My top five aren't as impressively historical as sjc_three's, in fact they're quite lame. The big games I've been to seem to mainly involve my team losing or a team I don't like winning. I've never been a big fan of Spain but through having accumulated far too many Spanish friends I found myself amongst the Spanish support when they left it late to beat Romania at Elland Road and qualify for the quarter-finals of Euro 96. Hardly historical and can't say I was thrilled, amused maybe and happy for my mates. I ended up at the quarter-final at Wembley too and discovered I knew far more of the Spanish fans than England fans just from walking around outside the ground, which was an odd experience.

Top game is still Oxford 2 Swindon 4. I must've been about 12 years old. These local derbies really mattered back then. Swindon were 2-0 down within about ten minutes and I could just hear my Oxford mates crowing - this only a few months after Swindon had gone up, then gone down, then gone up again all in the space of a few days like the Grand Old Duke of York. I remember one guy in the Swindon end shouting out "fuckin' sing ya bastards, it's supposed to be a fuckin' derby game". Sing we did and Swindon came storming back with some beautiful football. They have a film of it on youtube. Not as good as Mipo snogging some plastic bird, but I'm in there somewhere. They don't make away ends like that any more, packed to the rafters it was.

Juventus 1 Man Utd 0. I'd travelled all the way to Turin to watch this after being told at the Old Trafford game (where United came from behind to win) that I was an Italian Mafia loser (which I'm not, well maybe the last bit). It was 0-0 with about 5 minutes left, Juve were on their way out and the United fans were demonstrating their sophistication by mooning the Italian fans, and I, dejected, was about to leave to catch the last tram when Pippo Inzaghi popped up to head home. I just remember jumping with joy into some random old guy's arms - who was trying to tell me that they weren't through yet (which I didn't really give a toss about) but then some other team like Olympiakos scored a minute later in their game and Juve were through, cue perfect bedlam in the stadium and on the trams back into town.

QPR 1 - Swindon 3. Not a historical encounter either. Swindon were 2-1 down from the first leg and went 1-0 down at Loftus Road, but came storming back again to tie it up and then win in the dying minutes. All I remember is going from hope to dispair to disinterest back to hope and on to complete joy (and back to disinterst maybe). I can't even remember if that's the year they got to the semis. Doesn't matter now, all I remember is the game.

Suwon 2 Pohang 3. Was probably the best Korea game I ever went to. Suttibo got sent off for shooting imaginary fans.

Probably the best game I ever played in was the time we knocked big, bad Christchurch United out of the Cup at their place after defending like bastards for most of the second half. One of our weakest players got the winning goal on his birthday (not me :wink: ).

I've seen games at quite a few top venues in Europe but can't really think of something that stands out. I don't come anywhere near matching this guy http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/s/swindon_town/8313320.stm. I had a French exam the day they beat Leicester 4-3 at Wembley to go up to the Premiership. The external oral examiner was only in town (only in the country) for that day. I didn't even get to see the game on TV - can't remember how the French went, apart from badly.

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Re: Top 5 games attended ever.

Postby Rothesay Saint » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:31 am

Difficult to decide how to judge this. If it was purely on emotion then it would be a top 5 about St. Mirren, purely about quality then the Saints wouldn't get a look in. :oops: I'll go with what most other people are doing and pick 5 games involving different teams.

FC Seoul 3 Gwangju 1 (2008)

No one game really stands out for me as a Seoul fan. I'm tempted to pick the 2008 K-league final against Suwon for the atmosphere but the result wasn't the best that day! Went for this one simply because Seoul played really well that day and should have scored a few more. Dejan was outstanding in particular.

Seoul United 2 Hwaseong 0 (2007)

By rights I should be a Seoul United supporter, they are my local team. Play in black and white and are a small friendly club. Unfortuantely they started the year after I came to Korea and by that time I had already gone over to the dark side. It was great to see them in their first season though with a large number of passionate fans and when they went on to win the K3 in its first season I was delighted. K3 has always been a good league to watch and although the standard of football is normally (very) low I've always enjoyed it.


St. Mirren 1 Falkirk 0. (2000)

In 2000 St. Mirren were transformed from relegation candidates to the third tier of Scottish football (somewhere where we have never been) to winning promotion to the SPL in style. Playing attacking football and scoring about 80 goals in the process. There were some wonderful games that season. Last minute winners, some humpings of teams we would begin to call smaller teams again, but this game was the best for me. Falkirk still had a good chance of winning the league too, they were four behind at the start of the day and a win would have taken them within a point of us. As the game went on they pressed more and more for the winner until with a few minutes to go they won a corner. St. Mirren broke upfield from it, three passes (including one from a guy who was injured and only was on the pitch cos we had used all our subs) and Paul McKnight slotted it past the keeper. Love Street went mental.

Scotland 0 France 2 (2000)

Watching my team and country getting beat should not be a pleasant experience but when it is the reigning world and european champions and it is only a friendly then I can make an exception. I've never watched a big league game live (like EPL, Serie A, La Liga etc.) so internationals were the only times I saw world class players in the flesh. The French team that day -

France: Ulrich Rame; Lilian Thuram, Marcel Desailly, Laurent Blanc, Bixente Lizarazu; Ludovic Giuly, Didier Deschamps, Emmanuel Petit, Youri Djorkaeff; Christophe Dugarry, Thierry Henry.
Subs: Vieira, Pires, Wiltord, Leboeuf, Micoud, Letizi, Djetou.


Canvey Island 0 Burton Albion 2 (2005)

I don't know about now but a few years ago when I lived in Southend and used to watch Canvey, the confrence was pish. 11 quid to watch football of the lowest standard but several hundred used to turn out every second week to do it at Canvey (and I was one of them). This game stands out purely because Burton under Nigel Clough were the only team that I ever saw in the confrence that played good football and it was such an unexpected pleasure that I was happy enough to see canvey played off the park. They were played off the park most weeks anyway, but usually by other teams playing route 1 overly physical football.
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Re: Top 5 games attended ever.

Postby nzfooty » Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:02 pm

My-top 5 are in no particular order. I did not selected the matches purely on the quality of football that I witnessed. I don not have to explain to anyone here that going to football is more than the match itself.

1. Bucheon 0-0 Seongnam [2001, July 29]

This was my first K-League match. You never forget your first time. I certainly won't forget this match because it took me absolutely hours to get to the stadium. I found a map on the internet but my attempts at reaching the stadium using public transportation failed miserably.

After a while I gave up and employed the services of a taxi driver. Unfortunately the man was as lost as I was, needed to stop three times to take directions from the pedestrians and once drove into a dark cul-de-sac before taking a lighter out of his pocket and looking at my map for the tenth time. He also stop somewhere (for a brief second) on the way to grab a bag of melchi (anchovies and peppers fried together) which he started consuming in front of me.

This theme (crazy taxi driver and being late for match pops up in my #5, as in #2 as well, I guess). However, what felt like a life-time and W15,000 later I was at the stadium, just as the second half was starting. I was pretty shocked that they allowed me to enter for free and quite enjoyed what was left of the match.

2. Canterbury 3-3 North Shore [2003, May 18]
I was back in NZ on a two month holiday. Both teams were chasing
a top-4 play-off spot in the NZ League. Pretty decent match but what
really made it stick out was that when I opened the match programme I realised that a fair chunk of it had been written by me! Seems that someone who thought I was still in Korea was using my posts (to a mailing list) that contained statistics and reports about overseas based kiwi players to put a piece.

I really did not mind though. Just wish they had removed all the typos I made while I was typing this up at the Incheon airport a few days before (before I realised I was late for my Osaka flight - that is a story in itself but lets just say me being late is a theme in both #1 and #5).

3. 1. FC Nürnberg 2-1 Bayern Munich [1989, 10 June]

As a kid, this is something you don't forget. Your club, embroiled in a cut-throat struggle (with three other clubs) at the bottom of the table takes on the big, bad Bayern (and on top of it they are from the same province). Bayern had just secured the championship and no one have Nürnberg a chance.

Yet, Nürnberg, the second most successful club in the country (though with its glory days well behind - like in the 1930s) stepped up and produced a truly memorable victory that sent the crowd wild.

I'm not German, but as a kid I lived in Nuremberg and although I already followed football closely, that was the match that got me really hooked.

All four teams ended up equal on points with Stuttgarter Kickers being relegated on goal difference.

4. South Korea 1-5 USA / New Zealand 2-3 South Africa [1998, 18 December] (double header)

This was a warm-up tournament held in Christchurch before the 1999
U17 World Cup. As it turned out, it was much more entertaining than the main competition that took place the following year.
The first match involved Korea and there were quite a few Korean supporters (couple hundred), a lot of flags and noise - something I had not seen before in NZ and I was quite impressed.

Unfortunately all of them buggered off as soon as the clash with USA ended (to my great disappointment). I also saw one of the Korean kids get sent-off before the end of the match. In a remarkable display of petulance he gave the finger to the referee, and made other hand gestures towards the US bench and pretty much everyone he saw while walking off the field. I was shocked as at that stage I was under the impression that Koreans were mild mannered people, respectful of authority. Took me two and a half years before I could get my head around it (refer back to #1).

As for the NZ match, that was one of the few times in NZ that I actually saw the entire crowd follow the match religiously. There is something about the NZ mind that means that only sporting contests against South Africa, England and Australia matter. All of this has roots in rugby, and to lesser degree cricket. And it applies even when the u16 play.

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nzfooty
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Re: Top 5 games attended ever.

Postby nzfooty » Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:05 pm

(1 to 4 above)

5. Poland 3-1 USA (followed by Germany v Paraguay... I think) [2002 World Cup, 14 June]

The match was played at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium (which I think is a pretty decent stadium, actually). Poland had absolutely sucked in the previous two matches and were already out. Still, I thought, perhaps with pressure off their shoulders they will at least get a goal... The last one I saw was in Mexico in 1986.

I was running late (I used to live in Jinhae at the time, and had to transfer in Masan). Thankfully I found a taxi driver in Daejeon that appreciated the seriousness of the situation and was extremely happy to break every single traffic rule so that I could get to the match on time. He had a sparkle in his eye and I could tell he was enjoying it, occasionally turning his head to me and saying "pali, pali" with a grin on his face.

I arrived at the match in one piece. The atmosphere was electric as all the Koreans at the stadium had an emotional involvement in the match.
They wanted Poland to win as that would've meant that Korea (playing Portugal at the same time) would progress to the second round even with a loss.

Poland put on a great performance. They were 2-0 up after five minutes, completely dominated the match, scored another and failed to convert a penalty that would've made it 4-0. USA scored a late consolation through Donovan to make it 3-1.

After the match I headed for central Daejeon with the intention of looking for accommodation. If I were a smart boy I would have done just that (I had a bus and plane to Jeju Island to catch in the morning) but unfortunately I "accidentally" ran into about eighty to 100 Polish fans. I had a feeling that things were going to end up badly and so it proved. Although my Polish was a little rusty, somehow I managed to get myself involved in a soju sculling competition.

The next thing I can remember was sitting on a bus. It was early morning, and I was partially covered in mud. I didn't know where I was going. Then I suddenly recalled that I had to get my sad arse to Cheongju, to catch a plane to Jeju for the Germany v Paraguay. Then a second "oh no" followed when I recalled that I made arrangements to meet Miron Goihman, a fellow RSSSFer and World Soccer contributor after the Germany match.

Well, luckily the bus did go to Cheongju. In fact right to the Cheongju airport. How I managed that I don't know (I assume a kind soul took pity on my sad arse) but I was a mess for the rest of the day. I decided I should have some beer ASAP but because to the tight schedule I failed to achieve that aim before arriving in Seogwipo.

Once at the World Cup Stadium I proceeded to refuel and very quickly realised (despite my state) that what I was witnessing was one of the dullest matches you could possibly see. I spent the rest of the first half moving about as much as I could, drinking beer and just talking to random people. The Germans were not too fond at being interrupted (probably because my German is worse than my Polish) but eventually I did run into two Korean ladies that were as bored as me and we had great time keeping each other amused. One was a gypo and the other had unusually big breasts.

Unfortunately my body started giving up and towards the end of the second half I went from a big high to resting my head on pillow one of the girls gave me and dozing off. As there was a sea of empty seats I could stretch out and think that this is not how things should be done, before thinking that it would be neat if a camera could spot me sleeping in the lap of a big breasted Korean lass and beam me into living rooms around the world - because this exactly what the match deserved.

After the match I met Miron where, I'm sorry to say, things only got worse. I was suddenly convinced that I was fluent in Korean and knew Jeju like the back of my hand (having spent something like five hours there). He wanted to go to the beach. About two hours later we were at the top of a hill (where our bus stopped and refused to move) so we continued our journey on foot. Unfortunately, while taking a short cut, which sadly was my idea, we lost our footing and ended up sliding about 50 meters down the hill before falling into a river at the bottom. I apologised profusely to Miron who just laughed it off and said "no worries, I now have something to tell my grandchildren about".

But all's well that ends well. We did make it to the beach in the end and even managed to catch the end of the England v Denmark match, before getting back to Jeju City in one piece. The only pity is that the stewards top I got in return from my New Zealand jersey has chlorophyll (green) stains all over it.

I managed to catch couple other decent matches at the World Cup, including Uruguay v Denmark and the 3rd place play-off between South Korea and Turkey.

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Re: Top 5 games attended ever.

Postby sjc_three » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:48 pm

lol - a very enjoyable read!

nzfooty wrote:The next thing I can remember was sitting on a bus.


In Euro 2004 I woke up in a minibus full of Bulgarians on their way to Braga to watch their game with Denmark. What I didn't realise until too late was that I should have been going to Porto to meet an Italian friend of mine for their game with Sweden. The days just blurred into one and I completely forgot. He had flown over on his own just for that game (and to see me). I did apparently see him very briefly in Lisbon the next day, but was too drunk to remember. Lovely fella that he is, he took it all with remarkable charm.


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