Competition: Europa Conference League Second Qualifying Round, Second Leg
Date: 01 August 2023
Result: Swift Hesperange 3 – 2 TNS (4-3 on aggregate)
Tickets: €15 for adults, €7.50 for kids.
Game/ Experience Rating: ☆☆☆☆
The Game: A chance to visit a game in Luxembourg – at the cool looking but low capacity national stadium no less – whilst on holiday. Swift Hesperange are, much like the country they come from, a real mish mash of nationalities and styles, a side that create lots but largely shoot wildly. They went ahead after two minutes after a stinker of a pass back from TNS fell straight to their captain and was tucked home.
TNS came back strong, and should have scored several in reply, with both sides getting a series of one-on-one chances in a remarkably open game, before, after only 22 minutes, TNS were given a penalty and equalised. There were more chances through to half time, including TNS hitting the post twice, before Swift took control with two scrappy goals around the 60th minute.
A second, slightly dubious looking penalty gave TNS a chance late in the game, but with Swift killing lots of time as the game died as a spectacle, it finished 3-2 to the home side. Very watchable, if a bit cynical at times from the home side.
The ground: The Stade de Luxembourg holds just over 9,000, which is madly small for a national stadium, but it’s such an incredibly cool design. The side panels give it this kind of ‘football box’ feel and have little gaps that mean the sun makes patterns as it shines through them onto the grass, and the Luxembourg flag is shone onto them from the inside.
Only two stands were open tonight, and even they weren’t overly full. Drinks and food costs a small fortune (€5,50 for a coke), but hey, it’s Luxembourg, everything costs a fortune.
Extras: I think I saw some programmes floating around but I couldn’t work out where to buy them. We had to settle for some Stade de Luxembourg branded cups. Still, €22,50 for two is good value for almost anything in Luxembourg, so can’t complain.
Assorted asides: Free park and ride from a couple of kms from the stadium is a cool touch, though we walked one way and that seemed to totally confuse the locals – too used to free public transport, perhaps!
My totals for the year so far:
Games: 17. Home wins: 10 Draws: 4 Away wins: 3
Goals: 50. Home goals: 33. Away goals: 17. Goals per game: 2.94