Date: 5th October 2013
Match: Karlsruhe - Köln 1-2 (2. Bundesliga)
Attendance: 20 233
Being based in Hannover over the weekend , not to mention being quite tired after a long Friday, I wanted a match as close to Hannover as possible on Saturday afternoon. Going through the fixtures I couldn´t find an interesting match (at a new ground) unless I went to Karslruhe vs Köln in 2. Bundesliga. Karlsruhe is quite a long trip from Hannover but with a direct ICE-train departing 07.41 I would actually be in Karlsruhe in time for the match. After a short, but good, nights sleep I had a magnificent breakfast at my hotel before making the short walk to Hannover Hbf. My train then arrived in Karlsruhe by 11.15. Wildparkstadion is situated close to the castle in Karlsruhe and a very long walk from Karlsruhe Hbf. I took the tram to Kaiserplatz and after a short walk I was at Mühlburger Tor. From Mühlburger Tor there are shuttle buses to the ground. It was raining in Karlsruhe otherwise I would have left the tram at Marktplatz and then walk through the Schlossgarten. Strangely enough there are no shuttle buses after the match so I was going to walk around the castle anyway. The bus dropped me off outside Wildparkstadion around noon, an hour before kick-off. Wildparkstadion is one of few remaining old-style German football grounds. In total the capacity is around 29 000 but with running tracks and no roof in the curves Karlsruhe rarely get over 20 000. The match against Köln is one of the biggest matches of the year for Karlsruhe and with help of around 4000 away fans (many in seated "home" areas) the 20 000 mark was actually broken. 20 233 was the official attendance this rainy Saturday afternoon. Without the rain maybe 25 000 would have been inside Wildparkstadion?
My seat was in row 20 in the Haupttribüne so no rain was falling on me during the match. The match started without too much happening on the pitch. That was about to change though. In the 30th minute Köln were rewarded a penalty. To the delight of the home crowd it was blasted off the cross-bar though. A couple of minutes later Köln were rewarded yet another penalty. The locals were really upset with the referee by now but cooled down a bit as Köln missed this penalty as well, off the post this time. Still 0-0 at half-time. In the second half it was Karlsruhe who managed to score the first goal in the match. The lead only lasted seven minutes as Köln equalised and then pressed on for a winner. In the first seconds of stoppage time Köln counter-attacked and made it 2-1. Away supporters went nuts and home supporters couldn´t believe it. The match finished 2-1 to Köln. After the match I had to walk in the rain through Schlossgarten before boarding a tram at Marktplatz. I was back at Karlsruhe Hbf around 15.25 and 90 minutes later I was on the ICE-train bringing me back to Hannover. In total I spent around seven hours in different ICE-trains but Karlsruhe vs Köln was a really exciting match and I was very pleased to have been at Wildparkstadion for this match.
Rear of the Haupttribüne
A young KSC fan
View of play
Fans with beer