Ground: ISS Stadion (Pohjola Stadion)
Date: 28th April 2012
Match: PK-35 Vantaa - FC Hämeenlinna 9-0 (Ykkönen)
When it was announced that Veritas Stadion in Turku was to have a new pitch and the opening matches of the 2012 season were to be moved to Paavo Nurmi Stadion I started to plan a trip to Finland. To my knowledge Paavo Nurmi Stadion has not been used for football before so this was a unique opportunity. With the last weekend of April being a long weekend I made plans to visit three matches in as many days. First up was PK-35 Vantaa vs FC Hämeenlinna in Ykkönen on Saturday afternoon. My started as early as 04.00 and two hours later I was at Copenhagen Airport and by 11am I was in Helsinki. On my way to the city centre I ended up next to the former leader of the Swedish Green Party. Being leader for 8 years for the 3rd biggest party Maria Wetterstrand is well-known in Sweden and I was probably not the only passenger on the bus recognizing her.
Once in central Helsinki I made my way to Hotel Arthur, which I have used on previous visits to the Finnish capital. I the visited the library (internet!) before meeting up with my German friend Maik. After a drink in a sports bar we headed towards the railway station and the M-train taking us to Myyrmäki/Myrbacka. With Myyrmäki being situated in Vantaa, a suburb to Helsinki, it was a short (17 min) journey for us. The match between PK-35 Vantaa and Hämeenlinna was actually the opening match of the 2012 season for both teams. With it being an Ykkönen (level 2) match I had no idea what the attendance would be like. ISS Stadion is quite a nice ground. It has two all-seated stands. The main stand on the west side is two tiered whereas the East Stand is single-tiered. For most matches the East Stand is closed though. The south end of the ground has a small wooden terrace while the north end is made up of a grass slope. In total the capacity is 5 000 (4 250 seats).
Hämeenlinna brought about 25 fans for this match. Before the match they were quite vocal but when PK-35 made it 2-0 in the 8th minute they were silenced. They tried to sing again but it was soon 3-0 and at half-time it was 4-0 to PK-35. By now the visiting fans had stopped singing for good. The second half meant more goals and when it was 7-0 the Hämeenlinna fans started to leave the ground. In the end it was 9-0(!) to PK-35. Not the best start to the new season for FC Hämeenlinna. With 9 goals I was quite pleased though and hopefully the match tomorrow in Turku will have plenty of goals as well.
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