TDAS Blog: Day 2
Goededag (Dutch for hello)
Yesterday was a big day for the European Championships as it was the Opening Ceremony, followed by The Netherlands verses Germany game in the Olympic Stadium.
The England Mens team After breakfast had a light training session, followed by meetings and some free time before gathering together to head to the opening game. During the morning I took a walk down to the championship venue to see how things were going. The walk between the hotel and the venue is about 15 minutes through a large park area, there is also an amazing rowing lake, some of Netherlands Olympic rowers were training (I guess for that small event happening in the UK this summer).
At the venue we managed to bump into Guy Kessels who is one of the tournament organisers and have a chat with him. The venue was looking in shape with last minute line markings on the women’s pitch, medical tents getting set-up and camera stands being built, looking forawrd to seeing it when it is busy with players and spectators.
A quick stop at the hotel and it was off to the Olympic Stadium, a 20 minute walk (dodging the bicycles) and we came across the stadium, where teams had started gathering outside ready for the ceremony. The teams entered one by one with flags flying high, the biggest cheer from the crowd came when the dutch teams entered
For all you interested in the fashion….the English and Dutch were looking good in navy Under Armour gear
Two very enthusiatic hosts welcomed everyone and introduced the players and the officials and gave the fans some info on lacrosse in the Netherlands as well as history of the sport etc….
The stadium hosted the 1928 Olympic summer games and lacrosse was included as a demonstration sport, there was also a carving featuring a lacrosse player on the wall!
After the players took their seats in the stands, everyone was treated to a mini concert by the band Red 17, they performed a number of songs including the tournament anthem, after this there was a bit of a wait before eventually the Dutch and German teams came out and started warming up.
There has been a long history between The netherlands and Germany, rumour has it that it all started ages ago over a missing bike which was later found in Germany (this may not be true..dont quote me), but forward to 2010 Lacrosse World Championship where the Germans were resounding winners in the game against the Dutch 14-1 and even more recent was the 2-1 football result in favour of the Germans.
The game was physical and pretty even for most of the first half, Netherlands scored first but the Germans had lots of shots on goal, it was a quick restart from behind goal that caught the Dutch of guard for Germany first goal to equal the game. One of German goals in the first half came from the dutch goalie chasing a ball behind goal, the german attacker picked up a ball from the back line and the official re-started the game before the goalie was back on the pitch, leading to an easy put in. I managed to speak to the cheaf official who explained that in international play you dont have to wait for the goalie to get back in goal, however in NCAA they are given time. The first half finished with a Germany lead of 4-3.
The second half again was very close with both teams scoring 5 goals, with the Germans having a 2 goal lead which the Dutch fought back hard but with a few opportunities at the end to get an equilser, however it was not to be as Germany slowed down the ball and played possession, a keep it in call by the officials signaled an opportunity for the Dutch to really go for the ball, including bringing out the keeper to double the ball, with the goal wide open the Germans had a chance to put the game to rest but an amazing diving save from the Goalie kept the game alive but as the Germans held onto the ball.
For the spectators this was a good game to start the tournament, hopefully we will see some close games during the tournament.
Today England Mens start the campaign to bring home the gold, the players are itching to get on that field against Ireland, the game will start at 6pm (GMT+1). Keep checking englishlacrosse for updates!
TDAS Dutch tips…bikes are the favoured form of transport…so listen out for bells, thats your warning to get out of the way also make sure you use the pavement not the bike paths (school-boy error)