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Stade Josy Barthel

Ground: Stade Josy Barthel

Visits: 1

Date: 30th July 2019

Match: Dudelange - Shkëndija  1-1  (UEFA Europa League, qualifying)

Attendance: 1 022

At the first I was planning to stay in Germany and go to games in 3.liga on Tuesday and Wednesday. When I noticed the Dudelange v Shkëndija Europa League qualifier was to be played on Tuesday evening I changed my plans though. Although the fixture itself might not sound that exciting the combination of visiting another new country this summer and the fact I like these qualifiers made me book a train journey from Frankfurt to Luxembourg. At 09.08 on Tuesday morning my train left Frankfurt HBF and along the route to Koblenz, where I changed trains, I could enjoy the perhaps nicest train route in all of Germany. The railway line is next to the river Rheine and the views from the train were very enjoyable. In Koblenz I changed for a train bringing me to Luxembourg and now we were going along the river Mosel. At 13.30 I finally arrived in Luxembourg, the capital of the country of Luxembourg. My hotel, which turned out not to have AC, was then only a short walk away. Kick-off tonight was as early as 17.55 but I still had time for a short sightseeing tour of the city.

Dudelange and Shkëndija were both knocked out in the 1st round of the Champions League qualifying but nowadays that mean a transfer to the Europa League. The first leg was played last week and with Dudelange winning that match 2-1 they were in a good position to progress to the next round. From the train station there was a direct bus service to Stade Josy Barthel. The journey was supposed to take 10 minutes but road works and heavy traffic meant it was 20-25 minutes before I could arrive at the ground. Stade Josy Barthel is the current national stadium in Luxembourg and I don´t know the reason for Dudelange moving the match to this ground. They have played qualifiers in the past at their own ground. Anyway, I left the bus and went to a ticket booth where I bought a ticket. Having a closer look at entrances I realized my ticket was for the away section and not for the main stand. The lady selling tickets was very friendly though and let me exchange my ticket. As I said earlier I enjoy these qualifiers and tonight´s game was another good example of why. Shkëndija needed goals and immediately went on the attack. In the first half they had 5 or 6 really good chances and they should have scored a few goals. Dudelange had a few chances as well and it was almost unreal the half-time score was 0-0. The second half was as entertaining as the first one but now Dudelange had most of the possession and created the best chances. The home team finally managed to score but Shkëndija refused to give up. In the first minute of stoppage time they equalized and the remaining minutes were quite chaotic. With a minute to go Dudelange was awarded a free-kick and in that incident Shkëndija had two players sent off. The game ended 1-1 and Dudelange are through to the next round.

Four matches in three days in three different countries but now my trip was coming to an end. At 06.10 on Wednesday morning I boarded a flight bringing me back to Copenhagen. I was back home at 10am but being quite tired I rested for most of the day.

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Flags and Catédrale Notre-Dame

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Catédrale Notre-Dame

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View of Luxembourg

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Nice view

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Stade Josy Barthel

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Ticket office

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South Stand, rear

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West End

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North Stand

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East End

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Players and officials entering

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Kick-off

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Shkëndija fans

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View of play

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North Stand

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View of play

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South Stand

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Pano

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Pano