Sweden: Big derby in Stockholm!
Sweden: Big derby in Stockholm!
For the first time in many years the two Stockholm enemies finally met again. After Hammarby were relegated few years ago they didn't play against AIK for a while. But this year Hammarby is back in the top and one month before the Swedish season started the two enemies met in the Swedish cup.
Attendance: 41 000!
One fight reported in the city before the match. Two police officers injured and one supporter taken to hospital for treatment.
Report from our friends UiSF.de
As the seeding of the teams in the group stage of the Swedish cup is partly based on the clubs‘ performance in the league in the year before, it was already clear by the end of 2014 that the Stockholm based teams AIK and Hammarby would play each other in the group stage of the 2015 Swedish Cup. Hammarby had just returned to the first Swedish league after spending five years in the second, meaning that this would be the first game between the two for almost five and a half years. Trailers on Youtube from botth the AIK and the Hammarby fan scene asking the supporters to attend the big game clearly showed that both sides were really looking forward to this game.
Tickets for the game sold fast and with every day the excitement got bigger and bigger. The game was to be held at Friends Arena, which is located a five minute walk away from Solna station and serves as AIK’s home ground since the demolition of the old Råsunda stadium in 2012. As it is the case with so many other newly built stadiums, the Friends Arena also lacks the character and charme that made Råsunda so unique and awesome. Furthermore, the second of the three tiers in the new arena was to be closed for the game due to construction works. At times I caught myself thinking of how it would have been if the game had been held at Råsunda. Unfortunately this will remain a dream forever.
Nevertheless it should be said that although the circumstances somewhat affected the atmosphere at the game, both sides managed to make the best out of it. Hammarby’s fans met up at Medborgaplatsen in their home district Södermalm before the game and from there took a train to Solna station. Due to the fact that construction works are carried out all along the way from Solna station to the stadium, Hammarby decided not to undertake an organised fan march to the ground this time. About 30 minutes before the game, both fan scenes started to „warm up“and the first chants sounded through the stadium. Both sides had prepared choreographies for the game and from the fact that many people were wearing masks on both ends of the ground one could easily conclude that pyrotechnics would play a major role as well. When AIK’s club anthem „Å vi e AIK“ was played, both sides started presenting their intros.
AIK presented a huge flag covering the second tier, showing the club crest and the crest of the city of Stockholm at the sides and the word „Fanbärarne“ in the center, which can be losely translated with „banner carriers“. The fans in the lower tier were waving small black and yellow flags, with white flags saying „AIK“ in the middle. A huge fence banner at the bottom said “Allt för många följer en väg – vi röjer en egen”, which means „Too many people follow one road – we create our own one“. White, yellow and orange smoke as well as normal torches and blinking torches completed the choreography. Hammarby were using small green and yellow flags as well as a huge fence banner saying “Söder Bröder Glöder”, meaning „Södermalm brothers are shining/burning/on fire“, referring to the following pyro show. The pyro show consisted of green and white smoke as well as a lot of green torches and some red torches – a breathtaking and incredibly beautiful pyro show! Both sides were generally using a lot of pyrotechnics throughout the game. Again and again single torches could be seen burning at both ends. At the beginning of the second half AIK showed a second pyro show consisting of red torches all over the lower tier. As in every AIK game, in the 27th minute AIK’s former goal keeper Ivan Turina, who had died on the 2nd of May 2013, was commemorated. The video screen showed a photo of him, AIK fans lit a torch and the whole stadium was chanting „Ivan Turina“ – truely a very touching and emotional moment.
In the end the game turned out to be the exciting and tense game that everyone expected. Both sides showed great and passionate commitment and could be heard on the other end of the ground regularly. Especially Hammarby were highly motivated as could be seen during the two goal celebrations and when the referee blew the final whistle. However, after turning around the game I would have expected Hammarby to go more crazy and to sing even louder than they did after their second goal, given the fact that they were about to win the first derby since more than five years and that they were about to proceed to the next round of the Swedish cup. Nevertheless, towards the end of the game Hammarby got louder with every minute, showing the whole potential of the curve, whereas AIK in the face of the defeat were heard less and less.
One final note: The first Swedish league Allsvenskan can be glad to have Hammarby and therefore one of the best fan scenes in Sweden back in the top division. This surely further raises the level of the Swedish league and makes us look forward to the upcoming derbies with AIK and Djurgården as well as to the clashes with the other big scenes in the country.