Danish football is back….what I hear you say, you didn’t know it had gone? Well it had been asleep for two months whilst that little tournament took place in South Africa. The Danes had gone into that tournament like a bloke on a first date – knowing that in all probability he would not get anything at the end of the evening, but on the chance he would it was be disappointing when it reached the next stage.
So consequently most fans simply forgot about their exit at the hands of Japan and re-focused on the Superliga. Opening weekend saw FCK win (predictable), OB win (predictable) and Brondby lose (becoming more predictable). The last game of the weekend saw the first game back in the top flight for Lyngby BK, one of the two Superliga teams who play in the northern suburbs of Copenhagen (FC Nordsjaelland are the other just up the road in Farum). Their visitors were AaB who hail from the northerly city of Aalborg and were champions themselves just a few seasons ago.
Lyngby BK 2 AaB 4 – Lyngby Stadion – Monday 19th July 2010
Lyngby is a great ground. Surrounded by a huge hedge, you get the feeling from the orderly queues outside and the waft of grilled sausages that you are entering a garden party or a summer fete rather than a football ground. It is also one of the few stadiums with an athletics track that seems to produce good games. In fact my last visit here for the visit of Brondby back in April 2007 saw a humdinger of a game. With the typical rail engineering works meaning a 4km yomp to the stadium I was gasping for a pint but as soon as I got up to leave my seat Lyngby took the lead. A floated free kick into the box saw Morten Bertolt (no relation to the German international – in fact not even spelt the same!) go in where it hurts and headed the ball home. Four minutes gone and they were back!
The need for beer drove me to the longest queue for a bar in the world as one man poured with the speed of a student barmaid on her first night in the Guinness bar. As the queue moved ever closer to the bar first AaB scored when Ronnie Schwartz (A US poker/pool player if ever I heard of one) pounced onto a through ball and rounded the keeper, slotting the ball home as he fell on his arse, and then Lyngby went back ahead as Jeppe Bandrup scored. “Sing when you’re winning, you only sing when you’re winning” sang the Lyngby fans to who I am quite not sure as the visitors hadn’t taken the lead. As a retort the AaB fans broke into a chorus of Karma Chameleon by Culture Club. Scary stuff here I can tell you.
At half time I had a good look around. What a venue this is – similar in so many ways to the Dripping Pan. Grass banks behind the goal were populated with families picnicking as if they were at Knebworth or Leeds Castle waiting for a classical concert. A large house, where the teams emerged onto the pitch also gave a great vantage point for the people on the balcony and the two low stands were filled with the smell of grilled sausages. Few venues could beat this on a sunny summer’s night in July but I don’t fancy coming here in late November when the wind, rain or even snow will test the most hardened Dane.
Cloud descended on Copenhagen at half time and those on the hill started starring nervously skywards. So too did the Lyngby management team as AaB came out of the traps flying, coming close on a number of occasions before Costa Rican Dennis Marshall smashed the ball home after Lyngby’s keeper had spilt the ball from another corner. See told you that games here were good.
And it got even better…A beer delivered to me by a blonde? Er no, another goal actually a Ronnie Schwartz was on hand again to score and put the visitors from Jutland into the lead for the first time. Of course their fans took the opportunity to sing “Sing when we’re winning” and try as they might, the Lyngby fans could not co-ordinate a decent version of Red Box’s classic “Lean on Me” as a rhetort.
Lyngby pushed forward for an equaliser and on 79 minutes nearly got one as the ball was cleared off the line by an AaB defender and then Karim Zaza in the away team goal pulled off two stunning saves to deny the home team. But as Yoda once said, when you chase the game you expose yourself at the back and after a cross by the byline was half cleared who was on hand to smash the ball in? Only that man Ronnie Schwartz to complete his hatrick and immediately jump into first position in the European Golden Boot competition….if this was a TV show then Ray Winstone would appear at this point and tell us the odds of him staying in that position until May. So happy were the away fans that they broke into a Danish version of “Red Red Robin”.
And there we have it – the game of the weekend in Denmark without a doubt. Both sets of fans left the ground arm in arm (well almost). If Lyngby play with the same attacking spirit for the rest of the season then they are sure to lose a few, but they will also pick up points and admirers. As Jose Gonzalez’s Post Mortem Blues echoed around the ground I headed off home pleased that football was back again.
More pictures from the evenings festivities can be found here.