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Ground: Stadion Z'dežele

Visits: 1

Date: 27th July 2018

Match: Celje - Gorica  2-2  (Prva Liga)

Attendance: 390

Being tired after a long day it was nice to be able to sleep late on Friday. My destination today was Celje but with the journey taking less than two hours I was not in a hurry and I could enjoy a relaxed breakfast. At 10.50 my train left Ljubljana and at 12.32 I was in Celje. My hotel was then a 10-minute walk from the train station and from my room in the top floor I had a great view of the castle. There was a sports pub in my hotel and to my delight it was possible to order my favorite dish, a magnificent Wienerschnitzel, for lunch. It was around 28 degrees in Celje but in the afternoon I still went on a short sightseeing tour of the city centre. Celje, with a population of around 40 000, is the third largest city in Slovenia and the main attraction is obviously the old castle. In the warm conditions I didn´t fancy a climb up the hill though and a few pictures from ground level was more than enough this time around. I then returned to my hotel for a short rest before setting of for the game.

Kick-off at Stadion Z´dežele, the home of NK Celje, was at 18.00. The ground was 25 minutes by foot from my hotel and once there I realized NK Celje have a ground to be proud of. Capacity is 13 000 but for most league games only the main stand is open. NK Celje were found in 1919 (as SK Celje) and the club have played in Prva Liga every years since it started in 1991. In 2005 NK Celje won the Slovenian cup and that is the club´s only silverware so far. Next to the football ground there is an indoor arena where a more successful club plays. My local handball team, IFK Kristianstad, have played against Celje several times in the Champions League and it is obvious handball is the biggest sport in Celje. At the moment the U20 European championships is being held in Celje and standing outside the arena I could hear national anthems. Tickets for tonight´s football game cost only 6 Euros but still only 390 showed up. The main stand was for most of the game directly in the sun but I still managed to enjoy my visit. NK Celje were 2-0 up at half-time and it seemed they would win easily. That was not to be the case though. Gorica pulled a goal back in the 67th minutes and five minutes from the end they scored a stunning goal from 30 yards or so. 2-2 and as I walked back to my hotel I could look back at an entertaining game at Stadion Z´dežele. Back at my hotel I then finished off my day with cevapcici at the sports pub.


View from my hotel room




City centre


Celski Dom


Savinja river


Stadion Z´dezele


Stadion Z´dezele


Rear of the East Stand




South Stand


West Stand


North Stand


East Stand


Players and officials entering




View of play


View of play


Penalty, Celje