Posts Tagged With: Football

Soccer? Football? (Or: My first ADO Den Haag game)

Of course – it is called football (or voetbal) over here. Roger bought some tickets for the ADO Den Haag game a few weeks back, against Sparta Rotterdam. So Marco and I met up with Roger and his mother – although our first stop was the Rrrollend Foodtruck festival. The last one of the year in The Hague! We are already looking forward to the return of the festival in 2018.

Here is the ADO Den Haag stadium – reachable by tram 3 or 4 from the city centre (Forepark station).

ADO Den Haag football stadium

Unfortunately it is about a 10 minute walk from the station, but at least you don’t have to take the train.

Before the ADO Den Haag football game

Before the game – people filing in and the grass being watered. It is hard to tell from this photo, but the seats are elevated, with fans needing to climb a flight of metal stairs to get to this level. The field is separated by a high wall to prevent rioters from reaching the field.

The section on the other side with the team logo is where the fans with season cards sit.

More flag waving before ADO Den Haag football game

At the beginning of the game they passed out a lot of large flags to our section. If you sit here your flag waving skills better be good!

Flag waving before the ADO Den Haag game

Above is one very energetic fan. He first passed this flag to another spectator, asking if the man wanted to wave the flag. When this didn’t really happen (the guy just held it in his hands), the guy took it back and began to wave it frantically. And note the back of his shirt – 070 is the area code of The Hague.

1-0 score between ADO Den Haag and Sparta

We ended up winning the game 1-0. It would have been 2-0 but there was a goal called off for being offside.

The best part: we were sitting right behind the goal so we had a great view.

Blue Army graffiti by the stands at ADO Den Haag football game

Here’s a look at the graffiti-filled wall that separates the fans from the field. The stairs to go up to the stands are off to the left.

All in all it was a fun game. Though I have to admit that my favorite moment was when ADO Den Haag had a goal chance that the Sparta goalkeeper blocked – four times! The ball kept being hit back to the ADO Den Haag player, who had little choice but to kick it back in the same direction. it was like a game of pong.

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Huh. That’s weird. (Or: Ado Den Haag at the top of the standings — briefly)

So while Marco and I were at Roger’s we happened to check Teletext (a television information retrieval service). Imagine our surprise when we saw that Ado Den Haag won their game 4-1. Not surprised that they won per se, but surprised that this meant the football team was at the top of the standings for the Eredivisie (“Honor Division”, the highest Dutch football league).

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Of course the standings were recalibrated a few minutes later to include Ajax’s win, but for a few minutes there we were on the top of the world!

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Football (Or: Police and ADO Den Haag fans square off this Saturday)

Quick. Name one thing you do NOT mess with in the Netherlands.

 

…if you guessed football you would be correct.

In most if not all European countries, football is the sport. Fans eat, sleep and breathe football. Sometimes viewing multiple games on multiple devices (television, smart phone, tablet…) at the same time. It is a way of life.

Unfortunately you can expect issues if you try to get in the way of that. Even if you’re the police. The police have been striking at various times over the least few months. I wrote about it back in May when 1,500 police officers protested around the Binnenhof. Of course it makes sense – they just want better pay. It’s not that much different from the farmers striking in Belgium and France by driving really slow on highways and obstructing traffic.

But, again… it’s football. You just do not mess with football, people. Someone forgot to tell the police that. Most of the opening games for the Eredivisie are postponed due to police planning to strike during the scheduled game times – police actions which threaten not just ADO Den Haag’s game but also other games across the country this weekend. (Note: Dutch police threatened to strike during the opening days of the Tour de France in Utrecht, but that did not go through.)

Now ADO fans have a plan of their own. ‘Wij geen wedstrijd, hun geen staking‘ which translates to “No game for us? No strike for them.” The plan is to have as many people as possible meet at the Plein in The Hague at the scheduled time of the game. A large group of people would require a similarly large police presence, which means that at least some of the police cannot strike during their planned strike time. It is an interesting tactic if you think about it!

Wij geen wedstrijd, hun geen staking

From Volkskrant.nl (linked above, Dutch article)

Categories: Culture, Sports, The Hague | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Exhibition football (Or: The Netherlands vs the United States)

Friday night I went with a small group (Marco, Roger and Roger’s mom) to an exhibition football (soccer) game. The game was between the U.S. and the Netherlands and held at the Amsterdam ArenA. No, the last A is not a typo!

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The stands, before most arrived

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Orange streamers before the game started

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A note about the above picture. It looks like a flyer but if you look very closely you can see lines, each about an inch or an inch and a half apart, where it can be folded. It is a pretty thick cardboard, so when it is folded it becomes a very thin but powerful noisemaker. You smack it against your hand instead of clapping. And there was one at every single seat. Thanks to the stadium’s acoustics it is LOUD. Unfortunately it is nowhere near as powerful outside the stadium!

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You can see the football in the bottom right (the white streak) as the Dutch advance. About 2 seconds later they scored to go ahead 2-1.

Speaking of the score, with about 5 minutes to the Dutch were ahead 3-2. And then the Americans scored twice to win the game. With 5 minutes to go…

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Score at end: 4-3

Marco said it was because the American national team’s coach is from Germany and he was a great forward in the 1990’s. The Germans have a habit for coming back from behind at the end of the game. Regardless, it was definitely a fun experience.

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World Cup/Netherlands

ARGHHHHHHJHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Yes! Yes! Yes!

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Orange fever (Or: Dutchies take first place in group B)

Nederland 2 – Chili 0

The game between the Netherlands and Chile was closer than the score would show – the first Dutch goal was in the 77th minute by Leroy Fer and the second one was in extra time by Memphis Depay.

With this win, the Dutch take first place in their group (B) and play again Sunday at 6PM local time. Go Dutchies!

Blokker winkel orange World Cup decorations

‘Blokker’ store in The Hague with decorations

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Oranje tompouce (Or: The Dutchies win again!)

oranje tampouce in celebration of the World Cup

“tompouce”, a type of cake that goes with coffee. Here with a festive orange color due to the World Cup going on.

Nederland 3 – Australië 2

Woohoo. A much closer game but we survived. This time someone in the neighborhood had a lot of fireworks and set them off after we went ahead 3 to 2 (a bit premature if you ask me!). But we made it – and they set more firewoks off after the game was officially over.

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Wow (Or: Go Dutchies!)

oranje leeuw met voetbal

Spanje 1 – Nederland 5

Wow. Very cool to watch! After they scored, we would sometimes turn off the volume briefly and just listen to everyone shouting outside.

And as much as Marco likes to say otherwise, he was shouting at the tv too!

I have to say my favorite goal was the “flying Dutchman” goal by van Persie – a header right before the half to tie the score at 1-1.

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Dutch spirit (Or: The World Cup begins)

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the World Cup. If you visit the right places, you will see a lot of Dutch spirit.

Dutch world cup decorations

Here we have the decorations in my father-in-law’s house – Dutch spirit against a pretty (mooi) backdrop.

1. The banner over the door was from the TUC brand crackers.

2. The orange soccer balls/footballs are actually lights.

3. The other things hanging from the plant are Albert Heijn hamsters (the mascot) which can you receive for free if you spend more than a certain amount of euros in a shopping trip (15, probably). Orange, of course!

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Almost that time again (Or: Dutch world cup)

The Netherlands got a little taste of “orange mania” this week as Saturday was Koningsdag (English: King’s Day) in The Netherlands. Of course you see some wacky items that come about this time of year – both for the previously mentioned holiday but also for the FIFA World Cup in June.

Pringles can Dutch world cup

See at Albert Heijn. “Hup Holland Hup” translates to “Go Holland Go”

Don’t forget to check out the title on the can. See also this previous post, Hup Holland.

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