After 97 minutes of football Jeroen Manshot had seen enough, deafening boos preceded, that pretty much summed up my first ever live match experience at the Eredivisie league.

  • By Amos Abuga
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excvitdhdhThe drub draw between host Vitesse Arnhem and visiting Excelsior could not however take away my shine, the breathtaking encounter at the GelreDome stadium, Saturday evening. The gods has conspired that was the shortest full lengthy match in my time.

I have heard of tales of the energy from the stands, deep passion for teams that in many stadiums is multi-generational. Grandfathers having taught their kids and grandkids chants and cheers. This passion can make people laugh or cry. Emotions are very obvious, and that explains why Vitesse faithful’s, the oldest club in the Eredivisie, deserve more from the side which dons the distinctive yellow and black outfit.

The atmosphere was quite unlike anything you would have experienced watching at home or even in a pub…there are no replays; it’s blink-and miss action. Bar few moments of brilliance  sparingly dished across the duration of the full match, the players didn’t do much or create many chances, Excelsior being the happier of the two. There wasn’t much to miss really.

Vitesse kept a clean sheet on the evening, that however doesn’t take away the fact that fans are unhappy with the decision to  omit long serving captain, Guram Kashia from the starting 11. Defenders, Maikel van der Werff and captain of the day Arnold Kruiswijk, especially  were under the microscope, the entire match fans preying on their blood for any mistake likely to appear in their radius, I for once thought  they selected the match day team well.

Marvelous Nakamaba’s energy and ability to harass opponents whenever Vitesse lost the ball was admirable, his long range shots which troubled Filip Kurto in the opposition goal brought the fans to their feet. Valeri Qazaishvili skills, arguably the best ball handler in the team tried to lighten the team. Renato Ibarra, the lively Ecuadorian, had more speed that Imagined and was a constant bother whenever with the ball.its no surprise Vitesse’s best chance of the match came late in the first half,  Ibarra sending the ball inches wide, when he only had the keeper to beat. The decision to hurl him off  for ineffective Abiola Dauda was uncalled for as evidenced by the fans reaction to it. Eloy Room, despite not being busy produced a superb one-on-one save late on for what could have been a smash and grab for the side from Rotterdam.

My favourite moment at the GelreDome was when the symbolic club’s eagle flew in the indoor facility over 20,000 spectators minutes before kick- off, I mean if that doesn’t get you in the mood what will?.

Amos Ondieki (24 Posts)

Amos is a Kenyan who is passionate with sports but has a bias for football. Currently doing his MBA course from the Greenwich and Saxion Universities. follow him on Twitter @AMOKC1oo1