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Sant Julia

Ground: Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella

Visits: 1

Date: 2nd July 2015

Match: Sant Julià - Randers  0-1  (UEFA Europa League)

Attendance: 350

 

If you are interested in visiting new countries the qualifying rounds of the Champions- and Europa League is a good opportunity. I wanted to visit Andorra or Macedonia and was looking forward to Monday 22 June, the date for the draw. Since I was on tour in northern Sweden last week meaning I only had a few days to plan a trip I had already done the research on Andorra and Macedonia. Sant Julià, from Andorra, were drawn at home against Danish side Randers in the first leg. Lusitanos, the other team from Andorra in the Europa League, was however also drawn at home, against West Ham, which for ticket reasons complicated things for me. For Sant Julià vs Randers I knew tickets won´t be a problem but for Lusitanos vs West Ham it could be trickier. Once it was confirmed Sant Julià would play Randers Thursday 2 July I pressed the button and booked flights and two nights at a hotel. There is neither airport nor train station in Andorra. Instead you have to fly to Spain or France and then go by bus to Andorra. I decided to fly to Barcelona and 13.25 on Wednesday afternoon my flight left Copenhagen airport. 2 h 50 min later I was in Barcelona. I had to wait almost 45 minutes for my bag but made the 17.30 bus as planned. It took 3,5 hours from the airport in Barcelona to Andorra. The view in the latter part of that bus journey were quite spectacular. Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra, is located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and is bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe, having an area of 468 km2 and a population af around 85 000. Its capital Andorra la Vella is the highest capital city in Europe, situated 1 023 metres above sea level. The official language is Catalan but Spanish and French is commonly spoken. When it comes to football 8 teams compete in 1a Divisió, the top division in Andorra. The league matches are all played at two grounds of which Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella is one.

 

I slept late on Thursday morning and after breakfast I did as I usually do, walk down to the ground. On my way to Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella I passed Estadi Nacional, in fact the two grounds are only 500 metres or so apart. The gates at Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella were open and I had no problems walking around taking pictures. Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella has 1 400 seats but around 450 of those seats are behind the goal and with running tracks the view from those seats must be poor. The main stand is situated in the west side of the ground meaning sitting in the shadow for evening games. With temperatures of 30-32 °C I was pleased not having to sit in the sun. The east side of the ground is made up of a rock wall. From the top of that rock I could take some great pictures of the ground. After taking the pictures I wanted I did some sightseeing in Andorra la Vella. My first stop was Estadi Nacional, where there seemed to be a youth tournament. I then visited Casa de la Vall, which is a historical house in Andorra la Vella. It is the headquarters of the General Council of Andorra. It is a heritage property registered in the Cultural Heritage of Andorra. It was built in 1580 as a manor and tower defense by the Busquets family. In 1702 it was acquired by the Consell de la Terra. After a few hours of sightseeing I was quite tired, not used to these temperatures, and went back to my hotel where I had something to eat before I rested in my room.

 

Kick-off was at 18.00 and being a new Länderpunkt I was more excited than usual as I once again made my way to the ground. Tickets were €10, which was reasonable. In total 350, including 10 Randers fans, were at this game. A slightly better attendance than I expected. Before the match I spoke to Henrik, the reporter from Randers Amtsavis. He was surprised to hear I was from Sweden. I expected an easy win for Randers but that was not to be the case. In the 16th minute Randers had a player sent off but a few minutes later they still managed to score, 0-1 at half-time. The second half was quite boring with few chances. Randers were pleased to be in front and Sant Julià didn´t have the quality to attack. In the 82nd minute Randers had another player sent off. In the last minute of stoppage time Sant Julià then had a very good chance to equalize but the game ended 0-1. Not the best of games but at least a goal (and two red cards) for me as I could celebrate watching football in my 34th country. The following morning Henrik was on the same bus as I and we were also booked on the same flight back to Copenhagen. He had to work until 11pm after the match and was of course a bit tired.

 

On Sunday I will go to the opening match at Bravida Arena and on Monday it is then the Helsinki derby. Two interesting games looking forward to!

 

Pictures from Andorra la Vella

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View of Andorra la Vella

 

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View of Andorra la Vella

 

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View of Andorra la Vella

 

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Casa de la Vall

 

casa de la vall

Casa de la Vall

 

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Casa de la Vall

 

casa de la vall4  glass palace

Casa de la Vall                                        Glass building

 

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Glass building

 

placa de la rotonda

Placa de la Rotonda

 

 

Pictures from Sant Julià vs Randers

estadi comunal

Estadi Comunal

 

parking

No parking!

 

west side, rear

Rear of the West Stand

 

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West Stand

 

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West Stand

 

west stand

West Stand

 

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A closer look at the West Stand

 

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North Stand

 

north stand

North Stand

 

east side

East side

 

south end

South End

 

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View of Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella

 

dug-out

Dug-out...

 

dug-out2

....being cleaned

 

players entering

Players and officials entering the field

 

randers fc

Randers FC

 

avspark

Kick-off

 

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West Stand

 

west stand6

VIPs

 

west stand5

West Stand

 

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Randers fans

 

spelbild

View of play

 

birds

Birds

 

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0-1

 

spelbild2

View of play

 

watching for free

Watching for free

 

0-1

0-1

 

after the match

After the match

 

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Pano

 

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Pano

 

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Pano