Ground: Constant Vanden Stock Stadion
Date: 15th February 2015
Match: Anderlecht - Mechelen 1-1 (Jupiler Pro League)
Attendance: 21 000
I woke up in Lille, northern France, shortly before 9am on Sunday morning. After all the travelling yesterday it was nice to be able to sleep late. My destination today was Brussels where I would attend Anderlecht vs Mechelen in the Belgian Pro League. In Lille there are two major train stations, they are more or less next to each other, and since I was going to Brussels I had to use Lille Europe in order to get to Brussels. At 11.33 my train left Lille and 33 minutes later I was at Buxelles-Midi (Zuidstation) station. Kick-off was at 14.30 meaning this was the ideal match for me today. Easy travelwise and I would be back in Lille around 7pm. From Bruxelles-Midi I used the metro to get to Saint-Guidon. I had to change metro trains at Gare de l´Ouest but it was still a pretty easy journey. Constant Vanden Stock Stadion, the home of RSC Anderlecht, was then only a short walk from Saint-Guidon station. Once at the ground I was pleasantly surprised, the ground is next to a park and there is a small square in front of the North Stand as well. I had bought my ticket in advance and went to the ticket office to pick it up. That went smoothly and I then walked around the ground for some exterior pictures. The weather was really nice, 8-10 °C and sunshine, making this a really great day out.
Constant Vanden Stock Stadion, named after a former chairman, was opened in 1917 and nowadays has a capacity of around 25 000. The turnstiles opened 70 minutes before kick-off and (as usual!) I hurried inside to take pictures of the empty stands. Constant Vanden Stock Stadion felt like a compact, intimate ground and for groundhoppers this type of ground is much more fun to visit than the bowl-style modern ground I visited yesterday. My seat was in row 2 of the upper tier in Tribune 3 but I could actually change stands at this ground as well meaning for the second day in a row I could take pictures of all four stands. The ground filled up nicely and the attendance was later given as 21 000. Anderlecht are currently second in the table, 2 points behind leaders Club Brugge, and knowing the had to win I was hoping for an exciting afternoon at Constant Vanden Stock Stadion. The match was of much better quality than the one in Lille last night but still 0-0 at half-time.. In the second half Anderlecht created one chance better than the other but somehow failed to score, still 0-0 after 75 minutes. Would I actually see any goals on this trip? Yes, I would! In the 76th minute an Anderlecht player blasted off the cross-bar and then missed an open goal. One minute later the goal was scored though, 1-0 and I celebrated just as much as the home fans. Anderlecht were in total control of the match but in stoppage time Mechelen took advantage os some sloppy defending and it was suddenly 1-1. Everyone at Constant Vanden Stock Stadion was in a bit of shock but the 500 or so Mechelen fans were more than pleased. This was a bonus point for them. After the match plenty of home fans actually stayed outside the ground for a drink before leaving and there were no queues at Saint-Guidon station. At 18.17 my Thalys train left Bruxelles-Midi and shortly before 7pm I was back in Lille. Tomorrow I finish off the tour with a visit to Switzerland, Servette vs Lugano at Stade de Genève for me then.
Constant Vanden Stock Stadion
Tribune 2, rear
Tribune 3, rear
View of Constant Vanden Stock Stadion
Celebrating the goal
Young Anderlecht fans