A beggar for good football: the Netherlands

Jessica travels to the Netherlands before returning to England

After two weeks of games in the UK it was time for a quick trip to mainland Europe. I flew to Eindhoven in the Netherlands on the day of the PSV Eindhoven vs AFC Ajax game. The city was full of red and white, the colors of both teams playing that day. During the short walk from the city center to Philips Stadion, I did my best to keep everyone from cycling to the match – the preferred mode of transport.

The atmosphere at The Topper, PSV’s biggest home game of the season, was a departure from what I had experienced in the UK. It reminded me of the Bundesliga games I attended in Germany – with giant flags, flares blowing smoke in team colors, and Ajax players taking hits and kicks. corner foot getting pounded with mugs of fan beer. Quincy Promes gave Ajax the lead in the 63rd minute, but Donyell Malen equalized for PSV in the 77th. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

From Eindhoven I took a train north to Amsterdam for my first visit to Johan Cruijff ArenA. AFC Ajax played against Fortuna Sittard, a side that escaped relegation by just one point last season. It was 0-0 at halftime, but Ajax exploded offensively in the second half. Quincy Promes scored a hat trick as Ajax won 5-0.

My last stop in the house of total footballl was Rotterdam. Heavy rains did not deter fans from attending Thursday night’s Feyenoord vs AZ Alkmaar game. Manager Jaap Stam’s home side failed to break through in the botched deal, losing to AZ 3-0.

After six days in the Netherlands, I returned to London for my last six matches in England. My first destination was Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for Spurs’ Premier League game with Southampton. Despite the expulsion of Serge Aurier in the 31st minute for two yellow card faults and a mistake by Hugo Lloris which allowed Danny Ings to put Southampton on the board, Tottenham won the game 2-1.

I spent my Sunday in Stratford during the very first Women’s Super League match at the Olympic Stadium in London. Tottenham’s women beat hosts West Ham Women 2-0 to 24,790, the second-biggest crowd ever for a WSL game.

Follow Jessica’s travels in real time on@ jessicamalone85.

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