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Fisht Olympic Stadium

Ground: Fisht Olympic Stadium

Visits: 1

Date: 23rd June 2018

Match: Germany - Sweden  2-1  (FIFA World Cup)

Attendance: 44 287

The reason for going to the 2018 in the first place was to attend Germany v Sweden at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi/Adler. No club team is playing at the ground so from that perspective it was a good venue for me. I started the day in St. Petersburg where my alarm buzzed at 04.50. From my hotel the journey to the airport took around 25 minutes by taxi. At least I think it was a taxi, the hotel called someone to pick me up but the car was not marked as a taxi. Anyway, my first flight of the day, from St. Petersburg to Moscow, was on time and at noon I could then board my second Aeroflot flight of the day. Sochi airport is situated in Adler, 25 km south of Sochi, and Fisht Olympic Stadium is also in Adler. When I booked my accommodation I knew this and I managed to find a room only a 20-35 minute walk from the ground. At 15.30 I arrived at my hotel and eventually, initially they couldn´t find my booking, I could check-in. There were other Swedish fans at the same hotel and as I had something to eat and it was nice to discuss the upcoming game with them. Fisht Olympic Stadium, named after the mountain Fisht, served as the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. During the World Cup the official capacity is 44 287. As I made the walk to the ground I passed the F1-track and that is not something you do every day. Outside the ground there were thousands of fans enjoying the nice evening by the Black Sea. The ground is very close to the sea and this area of the Black Sea is very popular for Russians to visit during their holidays.

My seat, within the official Swedish section, was in level 6 and from there I had a great view of the game. I estimate 5 000 Swedish fans were at the game. Germany had a couple of thousand more but in all a superb atmosphere in my part of the ground. It is games like the one today, with all the expectations, being surrounded by so many Swedish fans I like the most. The Sweden games I have attended at major tournaments have often ended in disappointment though but you have to keep believing! Germany started the game creating some good chances but after 15-20 minutes Sweden had leveled things on the pitch. In the stands it was Swedish domination though. Anyway, former Sunderland reject Ola Toivonen managed to five Sweden the lead in the 32nd minute. I ended up hugging unknown males next to me and almost fell over as the celebrations were a bit wild. 1-0 at half-time and the hope was back. A win for Sweden tonight and Germany would have been knocked-out of the World Cup. Unfortunately Marco Reus equalized early on in the second half but Sweden seemed to hold on to a vital point. Deep into stoppage time Toni Kroos scored from a free-kick to give Germany the win though. The Swedish fans were silenced but the Germans celebrated a crucial three points. Bitterly disappointing and although football is about emotions I prefer joy.

I was back at my hotel around 23.30 and had a late drinks with some other Swedish fans. Some of them were going to Ekaterinburg as well for the third and final group game against Mexico. During the night there was a massive thunder storm over Adler and I only slept for a few hours. At 12.00 on Sunday morning I was then supposed to leave Sochi and fly back home. Upon arrival at the airport it was announced my flight was delayed until 14.00. I had five hours between flights in Moscow so I would still make the Copenhagen flight. At 11am the new departure time was suddenly 18.00. That meant I would miss my flight back home and I went to the Aeroflot information  desk. This desk was managed by one person only and she couldn´t speak English. After two hours my queuing was over and I managed to get a re-booking (from Moscow) for the 10.30 flight on Monday morning. The flight from Sochi didn´t depart until 20.45 and at 23.30 I was finally in Moscow. Once there the Aeroflot staff were very effective and within minutes they gave me a night at the luxury Radisson Blu hotel situated inside the terminal buildings. Being full of adrenaline I didn´t sleep much though but the flight on Monday morning departed on time and at14.30, 15 hours later than planned, I was finally back home. All in all a memorable and exciting trip and well outside the box.

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Olympic Park

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Fisht Olympic Stadium

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Swedish fans outside the ground

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Swedish fans outside the ground

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Close to the Black Sea

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View from the ground

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Seating plan

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South Stand

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West Stand

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North Stand

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Swedish fans

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Kick-off

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Swedish fans

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South Stand

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National anthems

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National anthems

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West Stand

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View of play

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My view

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German fans

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North Stand

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German fans

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East Stand

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Russian colours!

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After the game

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Fisht Olympic Stadium at night

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Pano

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Pano