Ground: Stadion Niederrhein
Date: 25th February 2011
Match: Rot-Weiß Oberhausen - Duisburg 0-0 (2. Bundesliga)
Attendance: 12 161
When I made a similar trip a year ago I went to Duisburg vs Oberhausen on Friday evening. This year Rot-Weiß Oberhausen were to play their derby against Duisburg at home on a Friday evening as well, almost to the day exactly a year since I visited the reversed fixture. With RW Oberhausen normally playing in front of crowds of 3 - 4 000 I knew Duisburg is THE match to visit Stadion Niederrhein and I was hoping for crowd of around 10 000. My day started in Amsterdam though, having visited Ajax vs Anderlecht the previous evening. After 2,5 hours on the ICE train I arrived in Köln by 13.15. Apparently there had been a strike of German train drivers on Friday morning but luckily for me I was unaffected. My hotel was in the Altstadt, only a minute´s walk from the impressive Kölner Dom.
When I set off for Oberhausen later in the evening most trains were late, probably because of the strike, but with seconds to go (after an impressive run down/up the stairs!) I made my connection in Duisburg. I arrived at Oberhausen Hbf shortly after 16.00 and met up with my friend Maik who also decided to go to this match despite being at Stadion Niederrhein several times before. Stadion Niederrhein is situated in the outskirts of the city but free shuttle buses are operating on matchdays. There were mostly Duisburg fans on our bus and when we arrived at the ground it was soon obvious this was not a normal home match for Oberhausen. Stadion Niederrhein has running tracks and is probably the worst ground in 2. Bundesliga but for a match against Duisburg that do not matter too much. Approximately 6 000 Duisburg fans packed the Kanalkurve and in total there were more than 12 000 inside Stadion Niederrhein. Maik and I decided to stand in the home curve and we had an OK view from there. Oberhausen had the best chance to score but somehow missed and the match ended 0-0. When the second half started some Duisburg fans set off loads of fireworks and a banner saying "Pyroteknik legalisieren" but apart from that there wasn´t too much to be fired up with. At least there was no rain, something positive if you are standing on an open terrace.
Rear of the Emscherkurve
Duisburg fans eager to enter the ground
View of play
A packed Kanalkurve
Kanalkurve on fire
View of Stadion Niederrhein