My most recent groundhopping adventure started innocuously enough. I finished work at around 16.30 and took the metro back into the city centre. It’s been an amazingly warm, almost summer day in Warsaw and getting into town Varsovians, having just escaped the dark days of winter, were enjoying the opportunity en masse to be outside in the sun. Enthused by the weather and realising there was a pretty much full lower league program I decided to make my way to the nearest league match. After searching for a while on my smart phone I discovered the closest live match was a Liga Okręgowa encounter between Olimpia Warszawa and AON Rembertów at Olimpia’s stadium in the Warsaw district of Wola. I had already missed most of the first half, but by hopping on a bus I figured I could catch the second 45.
Jumping on the 171 bus I set off for Olimpia’s ground. The bus was packed and due to traffic it crawled its way towards my destination, past Warsaw’s cinematic landmark Kino Femina and the newly built Muzeum of the History of the Polish Jews. Entering the stadium I was met with a bank of concrete and some Legia graffiti, rather unwelcoming it has to be said for a Polonia fan like me.
I found myself a place to watch the match alongside the touchline and soaked in the atmosphere. Once more (I’m sensing a pattern) the people watching the game were a mixture of young guys who had some link to club, old men having a bit of a walk and parents with little kids. The stands on either side of the ground were almost completely empty, I’d say around 100 people in total were at the game. No-one was singing and the quality of play was a lot weaker than what I’d seen at the weekend at the Drukarz match.
Both teams are unfortunately at the moment struggling towards the bottom of the division. Olimpia in blue seemed to be severely lacking in quality, mostly resorting to hoofs up the pitch, at no time did they seem to have control of the game. AON, in black, were leading 2-1 at half-time and they had just that little bit more composure on the ball. It was no surprise that mid-way through the second half they made it 3-1. A corner was floated over from the left, the centre forward got a good header in which was parried by Olimpia’s goalkeeper right to the feet of an AON attacker, who put it home. After that Olimpia’s players heads went down and hardly created anything of note. The referee blew the final whistle to the joy of the AON players and the consternation of the Olimpia fans who trailed off towards the exits.
All that was left was to find my bus and make my way home. Join me on Saturday when I watch III Liga (4th tier) promotion chasing Ursus Warszawa’s home game against fellow Warsaw area side Start Otwock. I don’t know about you but I can’t wait.