Sunday, 25 September 2011

FC Roskilde 0 v 2 FC Vestsjælland

Sunday 18th September 2011
Danish 1. Division
Roskilde Idrætspark, Roskilde
Admission: 100 DKK
Programme: Free with admission
Attendance: 764
Match Rating: 3

Day two of my stay in Copenhagen, and although the game I headed to did not have, in all honesty, much appeal in itself, being between two average mid-table sides in the second tier of Danish football, the early 1pm kick-off fitted in perfectly to take in before my planned visit to Parken, Denmark's national stadium, in the evening.

The town of Roskilde is located about a half hour train ride westwards from Copenhagen, with the stadium about a 15 minute walk from the train station. As is common in Denmark, tickets must be bought just outside the entrance, and once inside, the stadium very much has the feel of a typical basic Scandinavian venue for football, in that there is a running track between the pitch and the spectators. It has one main all-seater stand straddling the half-way line, along the other length of the pitch are half a dozen uncovered pebble-covered steps. Unlike many other grounds with a running track, it is possible to stand close behind either goal, although there was no hard standing, just grass. It is a very neat, tidy and spacious stadium, although lacking in character or charm. Programmes were given out free of charge from the ticket office, a basic 4 page colour publication, which covered all the essential information.

Both of today's teams have made almost identical, unspectacular starts to the season. After each playing five games so far, they have both won two, drawn one and lost two of their games, and both have a goal difference of plus two, Vestsjælland having scored one more goal. Roskilde have won both of their home games so far, whilst only picking up one point from three away games. Vestsjælland have lost both of their away games so far, whilst winning two and drawing the other of their home games.

On arrival at the stadium about an hour ahead of kick off, there was torrential rain and a violent thunderstorm, which caused me concern as to whether the game may be in doubt if it persisted. Happily, the rain subsided within about a quarter of an hour apart from the odd light rain shower, and the pitch remained in excellent condition. The opneing goal of this encounter came with just four minutes on the clock, when a low cross into the box evaded a whole host of players except for Rasmus Festersen, who slid in at the far post to score off the underside of the bar to give the visitors an early lead. For the first half hour of the game,Vestsjælland looked the stronger side, and then Roskilde came back into the match and had three wonderful chances to equalise in the last five minutes of the half, first a header from a corner was cleared off the line, then a shot just flashed wide of the post, and finally a long range shot cannoned off the bottom of the post with the keeper beaten.

Just like the first half, Vestsjælland started the second half the stronger, on 48 minutes they had a shot saved at point blank range, and on 65 minutes a shot from wide of the goal forced a sliding goal line clearance with the keeper beaten. On 72 minutes, the visitors opened up a two goal lead when a cross into the box was met with a header by Sladan Peric, which looped over the keeper and into the net. For the rest of the game, Roskilde huffed and puffed, and on 84 minutes hit the post direct from a corner, but in the end Vestsjælland held on for what on the whole was a deserved victory, although Roskilde could count themselves unfortunate not to score at least once.

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