Ground: Herman Vanderpoortenstadion
Date: 26th February 2012
Match: Lierse - Anderlecht 0-0 (Jupiler Pro League)
Attendance: 8 000
My main target on this trip was to visit Lierse vs Anderlecht. Lierse is the club supported by my friend Raf and for a while I have been looking for a suitable Lierse which I could combine with some other matches as well. The last weekend of February 2012 gave me the opportunity to visit Belgium for the first time and visit no more than 5 matches. With Anderlecht playing on Thursday evening in the Europa League Lierse vs Anderlecht was scheduled for Sunday evening, kick-off at 20.30. Earlier in the day I had visited Raf´s family in Kessel before we went to Oostende for their match against Royal Antwerp. The match in Oostende ended at 17.00 and around 19.00 we were back in Kessel. Not only had Raf been driving me to matches this weekend, for my last match he had arranged for me to use a season-ticket of a friend of him. After leaving Kessel by 19.30 we parked near the ground and then went to the home of his friend. The friend lives very close to the ground and there were some other Lierse fans gathered here as well. It turned out I was going to use the season-ticket of 13 year old Bobby. Being a child ticket there was an orange light as I passed the turnstyle (green for adults). The steward didn´t bother though and we could all go and have a pre-match drink. Our seats were in the lower tier in the big stand behind the goal.
Herman Vanderpoortenstadion, capacity 14 200, is a ground with character. The biggest stand is behing one of the goals. On the other side there is a small stand for away supporters. The side stand to my left this evening is all-seated and the other side stand is a mixture of terracing and seats. For the visit of Anderlecht I expected a near capacity crowd. The late kick-off time this Sunday meant only 8 000 was in attendance though. Those who stayed away didn´t miss much. This game was poor and ended 0-0. After the match we rushed to our car and set off for Brussels airport where I had booked a room at an airport-hotel. Road works (there was plenty of them!) yet again meant a de-tour but at 23.25 Raf could finally drop me off at my hotel. I thanked hime for the hospitality this weekend. He had been very kind to me and I look forward to welcoming him in Sweden one day. At 04.30 on Monday morning I then woke up and by 10.30 I was back home in Kristianstad. A great weeekend of football finally came to an end!
St Gummarus Church
Outside Herman Vanderpoortenstadion
A closer look
View of Herman Vanderpoortenstadion