Date: 26th February 2012
Match: Oostende - Royal Antwerp 1-0 (2e Klasse)
Attendance: 2 800
My main target on this trip was to attend a Lierse match. Since they were playing Anderlecht at home and Anderlecht played in the Europa League on Thursday evening the Lierse-Anderlecht match was scheduled for Sunday evening with kick-off at 20.30. This late kick-off time meant it was possible to visit another match as well. Oostende vs Royal Antwerp in the 2nd division was our choice. Raf picked me up around 11am and he then drove me to his home in Kessel. Upon arrival I met his wife (his son was already in the car). Raf has an impressive collection of postcards/pictures from stadiums around the world and for me it was interesting to have a small peak at his collection. After a quick lunch Raf and I then headed towards the coast and Albertparkstadion in Oostende. Albertparkstadion has a capacity of 8 125 of which 5 125 are seats.
Ooostende vs Royal Antwerp is regarded as a high-risk match and for the visiting supporters this was a bus/combi match. That means away fans had to travel by bus straight to the ground. When I was in Ipswich last year I met Royal Antwerp fans Hans and I knew he was at this match. Unfortunately the bus/combi meant we couldn´t meet each other. At half-time we found each other though. 50 metres apart we could wave at each other but hopefully we will meet "for real" sometime soon. As I said this was a high-risk match. When Raf and I tried to buy our tickets we were informed "No tickets on sale today, high-risk match". Not exactly what I wanted to hear. We asked a policeman what to do, showing him my Swedish passport. He suggested we could go to the sponsors entrance and ask if someone there had some unused tickets. To our joy that was the case. We had to pay 35 Euros each (Business seats) but at least we weren´t locked out. We didn´t want to sit behind glass though and found some good (unused) seats in the VIP area in the opposite stand. After a while I got a seat neighbour to my left, Raf informed he was a famous Belgian comedian (Kamagurka).
The actual match was terrible to watch. Very few chances and a lot of missed passes. Oostende managed to score a goal in the 1st half and that was enough for them to get all three points. Royal Antwerp were really poor and their vocal and loyal fans went more and more quiet as the match prolonged. After the match we met the friendly policeman again and he was pleased to find out we had gained access.
View of Albertparkstadion
Royal Antwerp fans
View of play