Ground: Estádio do Dragão
Date: 28th March 2009
Match: Portugal - Sweden 0-0 (FIFA World Cup 2010 qualifier)
Attendance: 40 130
I didn´t attend any of the matches in EURO 2004 and was of course looking forward to visit Portugal for the first time for this important qualifier. As most other Swedish fans (and the Swedish FA) I was certain the match was to be played in Lisbon but to our surprise we had to go to Porto and the ground where Zlatan scored his spectacular goal against Italy, Estádio do Dragão. Estádio do Dragão (Stadium of the Dragon) was built as a replacement for FC Porto's old ground, Estádio das Antas, and as a venue for EURO 2004. It was completed in 2003 and was inaugurated on 16 November 2003 with a match against FC Barcelona. The stadium's name is derived from the presence of a dragon on the crest of FC Porto, which is composed of an old football under the old crest of the City of Porto. It is also the nickname of FC Porto fans.
After travelling down to Lisbon on Friday evening, via Copenhagen and Frankfurt, I headed towards Porto on Saturday morning and I reached this beautiful city by 1 pm. Once in Porto I went down to the water front to register my presence (needed for getting those loyalty points) and enjoy the sunshine over a late lunch. There were plenty of other Swedish fans in the surrounding restaurants/pubs making this a good day for the local businesses!
When I later in the evening made my way to the Dragão stadium there was a strong wind from the Atlantic Ocean and it was actually quite cold. When Sweden, with some luck and a gutsy performance, managed to sneak a 0-0 draw the 2,000 travelling fans felt much warmer inside though. Now we only have to beat our dear neighbours in June to give ourselves a good chance of reaching next year's World Cup.
Finally, I travelled back home via Brussels and when I was checking in I spotted the Belgian referees in the line next to me, Business class ! They were on my flight and promised some of our fans to give us a penalty next time (or maybe I misunderstood the conversations.........)
Swedish fans enjoying the sunshine
Estádio do Dragão
Du gamla, du fria
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