After England Women vs Scotland Women, we stayed the night in Utrecht. We had tickets for Sweden Women vs Russia Women in Deventer on Friday night but we didn’t know if we would be going as train tickets cost 40 euros. I was just looking on my phone on Wednesday night when we got back to our hotel when I found out that Almere City were playing Granada on Thursday night. Our hotel was booked in Amsterdam (right next to Vondelpark) for the Thursday and Friday night. I did a quick bit of research and found where they play and how we could get there. It turned out that it was their club “open day” with activities all day. Just before this game, Jong Almere City were playing a game against Almere hockey club in a game of 45 minutes of hockey and 45 minutes of football! There were activities throughout the day with this game as the climax. For this game, two fans of each side teamed up with the manager to pick the first half team! It was free entry and they seemed to be a very nice club. They had no programme, but they did give me a teamsheet, a club newspaper, a clapper and a little poster/advert free of charge. I felt as though I had to pay for something and in the end, all I paid for was a can of coke! Almere City play in the second tier of the Dutch game and finished eighth last season. Their opponents were Granada CF from Spain who have been playing in La Liga (top flight in Spain) for the past six years before relegation in the season just finished. They seem to have had quite a few changes at the club but they’ll be looking to bounce straight back up to a league which is highly regarded by many. After all, they only lost 1-0 to Barcelona last season so they can’t be bad!
Our hotel in Amsterdam was a 30 minute walk from the train station and we ended up having to run for the train. It was then another 30 minute walk to the ground from Almere Parkwijk train station. In total, we walked 12 miles on Thursday! If there was one negative thing about the trip to Almere, it was that they watered the crowd! They were watering the 3G pitch but the wind was just blowing it straight into the crowd and soaking everyone!
Almere and Granada share the spoils in six goal thriller
Almere City and Granada CF played out a 3-3 draw at the Yanmar Stadion on Thursday night.
With two fans of each club helping the managers pick the sides, Granada’s side included the likes of Adrián Ramos who has recently completed a 12 million euros move from Borussia Dortmund to Chongqing Dangdai Lifan before being loaned out to Granada.
Rúben Sánchez opened the scoring in only the seventh minute before Almere pulled level 20 minutes in through Sven Braken. And, Almere took the lead only a minute later through Soufyan Ahannach. Ramos equalised for Granada in the 25th minute but Almere regained their lead through Achille Vaarnolt before the break. Germán Sánchez had the final say though as he ensured a draw for Granada in the 85th minute.
Granada started well and could have taken the lead inside five minutes when Sánchez was played in but he could only poke over while off balance.
However, Sánchez was soon in the thick of things again as he opened the scoring two minutes later. It was a fine goal two as one touch football saw five quick passes play the ball out wide to Pedro and his low cross found Sánchez who slotted home. Sánchez hurt himself in the process and was unable to continue.
With their first real chance, Almere City pulled level. It was a sharp break courtesy of Ahannach who drove all the way through before his perfectly weighted ball played in Braken and his composed finish picked out the far bottom corner.
And, Almere took the lead only a minute later. It was more good, patient build up play as Calvin Mac-Intosch found Braken and his short ball found Ahannach who finished well from a tight angle.
In an action-packed first half, Granada pulled level within three minutes. Pedro’s deep cross found the towering Ramos whose bullet header gave Chiel Kramer absolutely no chance.
Granada started to build on their play from this point and were knocking the ball around with confidence. They looked assured on the ball and gave Almere very few opportunities. Just after the half hour mark, the Spaniards worked the ball round to Pedro who cut in before firing just wide while Tom Overtoom’s effort at the other end forced a comfortable save from Rui Silva.
With nine minutes of the first half remaining, Almere regained their lead. Ahannach crossed to find Vaarnolt and he managed to volley home on the stretch to send Almere into a half-time lead.
A host of changes came at the break and the second half wasn’t as lively as the first. Granada once again were looking the better side and playing some attractive football.
Despite being on top, Granada failed to create any real chances as Almere looked happy to allow Granada to have the majority of possession.
Almere had a couple of half chances through Khalid Tadmine and Ahannach while Darwin Machis and Antonio Puertas both had chances for Granada.
Eventually, after 40 minutes of the second half, Granada did pull level. A deep free-kick wasn’t dealt with and it dropped in the penalty area where Germán Sánchez eventually finished with a clever backheel.
Full-time: Almere City 3-3 Granada CF
Next up for me is a game midweek.
Almere City: Kramer, van Buuren (van Hilten, 62′), Mac-Intosh (Blackson, 62′), Mirani (Hammouti, 46′), Owusu (Tamata, 46′), Vaarnolt (Valpoort, 62′), Overtoom (c) (Krant, 76′), Salasiwa (Vet’ 46′) (van der Water, 75′), Soufyan Ahannach, Braken, Quekel (Anass Ahannach, 62′)
Unused sub: Grim
Granada CF: Silva, Díaz, Menosse (Germán, 46′), Saunier (l’Anson, 46′), Iriondo (Martínez, 46′), Martín (Krhin, 46′), Baena (Hongla, 46′), Pedro (Machís, 46′), Peña (Montoro, 46′), Sánchez (Joselu, 14′), Ramos (Puertas, 46′)
I think these are correct!
Monthly newspaper: Free
FanClub clapper: Free