Date: 17th June 2011
Match: Åbo IFK - BK 46 1-2 (Kakkonen, Lohko B)
For day 2 on my tour I couldn't find any matches in the top two divisions to fit in with my schedule. Instead I decided to stay in Turku and do some touristing during the day and then attend a Kakkonen match in the evening. First thing after breakfast was a visit to Turku cathedral (Åbo Domkyrka). I then found a bus taking me down to the harbour area where the old castle is situated. Turun Linna (Åbo slott) was built by the Swedish in the 14th century and over the years several Swedish kings have stayed here, both temporarily and permanently. After visiting Forum Marinum (Maritime centre) I returned to the city centre to have something to eat and drink before heading to the ground early in the evening.
My match this evening was between Åbo IFK and BK-46 (from Karis) in Kakkonen, which is the third tier of Finnish football. Using the Swedish name of the city it is obvious Åbo IFK is a club with Swedish roots and I could hear several people speaking my native language in the stand, not to common when I am groundhopping abroad! Yläkenttä, the home of Åbo IFK, was not that easy to find. There is an impressive athletics stadium (Paavo Nurmi Stadion) nearby and you then have to walk on a path further up the hill to find Yläkenttä. It is a basic ground, only one stand with around 500 seats, and an arificial pitch. On the other three sides there is only a fence.
Being top of the table, BK-46 brought around 50 supporters in total to this game and they created a decent atmosphere at Yläkenttä this rainy Friday evening. The match itself was quite good. Åbo IFK started the best and were leading 1-0 until the 45th minute when BK-46 equalised. In the second half the visitors from Karis were by far the better side and could hold on to a 2-1 victory, much to the delight of their loyal supporters. After the match I hurried to my hotel and then onwards towards the railway station, 11 hours on a night train to Oulu was ahead of me.
Squirells (found outside the ground)
2-1 to the visitors
Pano of the nearby Paavo Nurmi Stadion