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Gasten IP

Ground: Gasten IP

Visits: 1

Date: 21st February 2021

Match: Kalmar FF - Umeå FC  1-2  (Svenska Cupen)

Attendance: 0 (100-150 watching from outside the fence)


My last match in 2020 was 25 October and I have had no idea when my next visit would take place. The group stage of the Swedish Cup is played in late February/early March and plenty of clubs play at different (smaller) grounds than normal and I noticed there was a chance for me to visit two new grounds. As was the case for the entire 2020 season in Sweden, games are without fans but I sent an application to Kalmar FF and was of course very pleased when it was approved. During the winter months Kalmar FF play their friendlies and cup games at Gasten IP, a few hundred meters from Guldfågel Arena. At noon on Sunday Kalmar FF hosted Umeå FC in the first of three games in the group stage. It is just over 2 hours by car  for me to Kalmar and around 11am I parked my car at Gasten IP. The accreditation was to be picked up at the press desk at Guldfågeln Arena and once there I was invited to the press area in that ground. I had a sandwich and  cup of coffee and then spoke to one of the locals about crowd restrictions in Allsvenskan. 20 minutes or so prior to kick-off I entered Gasten IP. The ground has an artificial pitch and one small stand on the east side of the ground. For a cup game against Umeå I guess the attendance would normally be 5-600. Today it was officially closed doors but 100-150 Kalmar fans were watching from behind the fence. It was quite cold and some were actually watching from their cars!


Kalmar FF just about managed to stay in Allsvenskan and with Umeå FC were relegated to Ettan Norra (level 3) most of us at Gasten expected an easy win for Kalmar FF. In the first half the hosts had most of the possession but the only goal was scored by Umeå, 0-1 at half-time. In the second half It was all Kalmar FF but they somehow couldn't create really good chances to score from. At times it looked like a handball match and when Umeå had a player sent off Kalmar FF could eventually find the equalizer. With 10 minutes still to be played I was certain Kalmar FF would score again to win the game. In the 4th minute of stoppage time Umeå FC were awarded a free-kick and they scored to win this game 2-1! Completely against the run of play and massive celebrations on and off the field from Umeå players and officials. To me it was unbelievable Kalmar FF lost this one but football is about scoring goals and today Kalmar failed in that part of the game. After the match Umeå made the 830 km trip back by bus but somehow I think  it was a long but enjoyable journey for them!

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Gasten IP

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East Stand

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East Stand

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South End

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West side

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North End

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Umeå players entering Gasten IP

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Kick-off

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View of play (note Guldfågeln Arena in the background)

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Fans watching from outside the fence

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Fans watching from outside the fence

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Free-kick Umeå FC

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1-2!

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Celebrations

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Pano