Iran vs Angola at Leipzig stadium

The stadium is pretty impressive on the inside as well. The seats are steep and I think there isn't a single place that has an obstructed view. The architecutre is simply overwhelming.

The seats we got were excellent. The only problem was that the setting sun eventually peeked under our roof and gently basted us, but it wasn't anything too serious.

Watching a World Cup game in a stadium is like watching any other football game, except that it's bigger, louder and more expensive.

Well, not technically bigger. Bukit Jalil held 80,000 during the Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies (it can theorethically hit 100,000) and that was an absolutely amazing atmosphere. In the World Cup the crowds are slightly smaller (50,000-70,000) but just as ferocious, and just as loud. You wear your heart, flag and whatever you can get your hands on on your sleeve.

You notice the rabble rousers that inspire a crowd onwards. With the numbers that we are talking about, you need more than just one person leading the chants. Note that in football, there are no official cheerleaders on the field, just who you bring with you in the stands.

The game itself was okay. Things only really perked up when Angola scored. It'ss fairly amazing to me that Angola, who needed a win to even think about getting through to the next round, lined up 4-5-1 from the beginning, and then only gradually changed to a 4-3-3. They were much better going forward, and were pressing for the second goal that would send them through, when Iran scored from a straight-forward header off a corner. After this, the game petered out a little (might have been the heat of the afternoon sun). The strangest thing, though: The Angola keeper looked as if he was playing for a draw near the end, when a win was what they should have been going for. In the end, neither Angola nor Iran came away with much credit. Angola can be excused as it's their first World Cup, but Iran really need to buck up if they're to establish Asia as a footballing region.

After the game, we quietly shuffled out. There wasn't much in the way of celebration since both teams were out, so it was a little anti-climactic.

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posted on Thursday, June 22, 2006 - permalink
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