Competition: International Friendly
Date: 17 November 2022
Result: Ireland 1 – 2 Norway
Tickets: €30 (adults), €15 (kids), plus those pesky Ticketmaster fees.
Game/ Experience Rating: ⭐
The Game: The only real bright spot in this game, which was frankly a pretty turgid watch, was the 15 minutes after half time during which Ireland looked, briefly, a semi-decent side. I had booked the tickets hoping to see Erling Haaland (but also suspecting, correctly it turned out, that I wouldn’t), and instead the absence of quality was absolutely palpable in a game that seemed to be just played out almost for the hell of it.
Alan Browne’s goal was the bright spot for Ireland, though it was struck from some distance and I felt like former Villa goalkeeper Nyland should have saved it, though if I’m honest I haven’t bothered to checka replay. Neither Norway goal was particularly memorable, and for much of the game you’d have been as well off watching it at home with a quiet beer.
I’ve never been in the Aviva with it quite this flat; a firm ‘we’re not going to the World Cup and you’d know it looking at us’ vibe. Worrying.
The ground: I went right up the top of the Aviva in 502 for this game, basically because I had a hunch the more expensive tickets wouldn’t be worth it (nailed it on that one, anyway). We didn’t get in until 20 minutes into the game after some shocking traffic but did catch all the goals. The highlight of the day was possibly the charity Christmas lights already set up on the walk in.
Extras: I got to see a former Villa player in Nyland, and a certain my Odegaard had a good game, so I guess that’s something!
Assorted asides: Note to self: international friendlies are rubbish. I feel like I’ve said this before.
My totals for the year so far:
Games: 13. Home wins: 6 Draws: 2 Away wins: 5
Goals: 36. Home goals: 18. Away goals: 18. Goals per game: 2.77