FC Avenir Beggen – FC Mamer 32 (
How better to spend a miserable February Sunday than with your groundhop friends at a game in the second round of the Coupe de Luxembourg. Hence, grabbing a quick breakfast at Antwerp Central Station, I made my familiar way to
But I also got a nice surprise from J.B., who made me official grondhopper business cards. We had been talking about making them before, as we regularly get into conversations with people during our groundhops, and than try to explain what we are doing. This way I can hand the business card out and they can read my report later. This is what J.B. came up with, the wizard!
The drive from
Around 15.00 we made our way back to the Stade Rue Henri Dunant, where we bought a (generic) ticket for the price of 4 euro! The stadium is small, but has one covered stand, which would come very much in hand during the game. Some 250 people would find their way into the stadium that afternoon, of which I guess a third were away supporters (Mamer is less than 15 km from Beggen). Although neither team will be very familiar to the untrained mind, Avenir Beggen used to be a serious team in the Luxemburg Nationaldivision (Premier League). FC Mamer 32, on the other hand, is unknown to even the most seasoned football fan. They promoted to the first division in 2005 and to the premier league a year later, through play-offs. As Avenir Beggen has recently fallen on harder times, relegating to the first division, they were the underdog in this cup game.
The game started without much excitement, with Beggen being the more dominant team, but Mamer looking more dangerous. The level of the game was probably comparable to a decent Dutch amateur league, but as the teams were fairly equal (Mamer more skills, Beggen more heart), the game became quite entertaining. The first half was for Mamer, as Beggen didn’t flight enough to compensate for their lesser skills, which scored the 0-1 in the 42nd minute. This was also the half time score, so we went to the beautiful new cantina, which was full with banners and posters of teams and games Avenir Beggen played years ago. One caught our eye especially.
Given the contrast between the temperature (and dryness) in the cantina and outside, and the fact that they had a bowl of free brownies at the buvette (which were really tasty!), we returned to the game just in time to see Avenir Beggen kick-off for the second time in the second half: 0-2. At that time it looked the game was over, as Mamer clearly dominated the game and Beggen seemed toothless in attack. Moreover, it was raining like crazy during most of the second half, which made playing attacking football even more difficult.
As all other players scored, Avenir Beggen won the game in their fourth penalty, advancing to the third round of the Coupe de Luxembourg. Despite the level of play, this was a true cup fighter game, a genuine treat for any groundhopper. Hence, we returned cold but extremely satisfied. We will be back in Luxemburg soon!