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Aves

Ground: Estádio do Clube Desportivo das Aves

Visits: 1

Date: 18th February 2019

Match: Aves - Benfica  0-3  (Primeira Liga)

Attendance: 5 159

The Monday evening game in Primeira Liga in this round was Aves v Benfica. Estádio do Clube Desportivo das Aves has a capacity of 5 500 and at first I was unsure whether I would get a ticket or not. To increase my chances I also applied for an accreditation but once tickets went on sale, it was possible to buy online, I still hadn´t received a reply from the club and to be guaranteed I bought a ticket. The day before the game my application was approved but I couldn´t gamble and risk missing out on this match. Vila das Aves is situated in northern Portugal and at 10.09 my first train of the day left Lisboa Oriente. Three hours later I was once again at Porto Campanha and close to the station I found a restaurant where I had lunch. For the second time in three days I then boarded the 14.25 local train bound for Guimarães. To my knowledge there is only one hotel in Vila das Aves and that hotel was just over 10 minutes by foot from the station. The population in Vila das Aves is only 8 000 which explain the lack of accommodation. The ground was 20 minutes, mostly uphill, from my hotel and wanting daylight pictures of the exterior I went there after checking-in at the hotel.

Kick-off was at 20.15 and after resting at my hotel I was back at the ground 90 minutes prior to kick-off. I could pick up my accreditation without problems but was surprised to be given a vest saying PHOTO. The actual press box was behind glass and being pitchside was much better. I even managed to sneak inside the TV-gantry to take some pictures before returning to the area around the pitch. There are three stands at Estádio CD das Aves. The main stand and half the curve behind the goal are for home fans. The other half of the curve as well as the stand on the far side were for away supporters. I have to say both sets of fans created a good atmosphere tonight and being able to move around without restrictions I could take pictures from good angles on both sets of active fans. The active away fans had plenty of reason to celebrate this evening. 0-1 in the third minute and by half-time it was 0-2. I decided to stand behind the goal Benfica was attacking meaning I switched ends at half-time. In the second half I was standing next to Benfica´s most vocal fans and that was an interesting experience. No trouble at all in the stands though and when the final whistle was blown it was 3-0 to Benfica. A great evening for the travelling fans and now only a point separates Porto and Benfica at the top. Aves, who are only playing their third ever season the top flight, will have to fight for their survival in the Primeira Liga this season and I wish them the best of luck. After returning my vest to the officials I walked back to my hotel, observing some very interesting ways to park a car along the way. Not easy for small towns to host 2 000 away fans!

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The view from my hotel room

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Team photo (in the hotel reception)

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Statue

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View of Estádio do Clube Desportivo das Aves

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Rear of the West Stand

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Rear of the North Stand

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Rear of the East Stand

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Seating plan

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Media entrance

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South End

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West Stand

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North Stand

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East Stand

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East Stand

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Tunnel

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Warm-up

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Players and officials entering

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Managers shaking hands

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West Stand

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Aves fans

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North Stand

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North Stand

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View of play

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0-2

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East Stand

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Benfica fans

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Benfica fans

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Benfica fans

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Benfica fans

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Pano

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Pano