Ground: Stadio Franco Ossola
Date: 5th April 2012
Match: Varese - Pescara 2-1 (Serie B)
Attendance: 5 015
The third day of my trip to Italy was supposed to start with Jonas picking me up at 11am and then the two of us visiting different spots around Lago di Como. However, heavy rain and low clouds cancelled those plans. Instead I made a mini-tour of the city centre of Como. At times there was actually a break in the downpour. After a while I found a cafe (and a copy of Gazetta dello Sport) where I spent almost an hour before making another mini-tour of Como. At 2pm Jonas then picked me up and we headed towards Varese, situated some 35 km from Como. Originally we planned to visit Chiasso in Switzerland for the Challenge League match between Chiasso and Winterthur. Chiasso is only 5 km from Como but when Varese vs Pescara was moved from Friday to Thursday evening we regarded that match to be more interesting than the one in Chiasso. We arrived in Varese around 3pm and did our best to kill off the 6,5 hours remaining until kick-off (20.45). By 7pm we finally managed to buy our tickets. In Italy you have to show your passport/ID to buy football tickets (and then again when you enter the ground).
Varese play at Stadio Franco Ossola and this ground has a capacity of around 10 000. As so many other grounds in Italy it is ran-down and feels "old and tired". There is an all-seated main stand with 1 000 seats. Inside the ground there is a velodrome and above it a concrete ring making up the other three sides of the ground. We bought tickets for "Distinti" and the seat was directly on the concrete. I didn´t know whether to laugh or cry. Both Varese and Pescara are in the play-off zone for promotion to Serie A so this was an important match. Varese against Pescara turned out to be a very good game of football. Pescara took the lead but Varese, backed by 5 000 vocal home fans, equalised shortly before half-time and then made it 2-1 in the second half. Both teams had plenty of chances to score more goals but it finished 2-1 to Varese. Pescara, a long way from Varese, only had around 20 fans or so at the match so it was not easy for them to make their voices heard. Credit to the home fans though who created a very good atmosphere through-out the 90 minutes. At times they were a bit upset with the referees but that only added to the general buzz. Italians do know how to be upset!
The match finished at 22.40 and 50 minutes or so later I was back in Como after a long but nice day. The rain we had in Como didn´t spread to Varese and at times the weather at Stadio Franco Ossola was quite nice. Hopefully more of this tomorrow when we head to Brescia.
Stadio Franco Ossola
Fans with banner
Waving the flag for Varese
Our flags are bigger than yours!