After attending a Benfica – Sporting derby, I decided to buy tickets for the Sporting – Braga match and thus discover the José Alvalade stadium.
I buy my ticket without difficulty on the official Sporting website, it costs me 30 euros.
No difficulty either to join the stadium which is well served by subway about 40 minutes from my Airbnb.
The José Alvalade stadium is a nice modern stadium built for the Euro 2004 and inaugurated in 2003, it has a capacity of 50 000 seats. It is illuminated in green, the color of the club, it’s quite nice.
The access to the stadium and then to the stands is easy, the indications are easy to understand. Contrary to the Benfica stadium, I undergo a small search. No need to print your ticket, just have it on your smartphone, no need to show any ID either.
The stadium is far from being packed, only 27,000 spectators for a capacity of 50,000. The fact that the match is taking place on a Sunday evening and that Sporting has just suffered two defeats in a row against Benfica’s enemy should not help.
The evening match is interesting, however: Braga is currently 3rd in the championship. Sporting, 4th, must absolutely win in order not to let themselves fall behind.
A few minutes before kick-off, elderly people enter the pitch and are ovationed by the public. I understand then that they are former players of the club. Sporting was founded in 1906 and has a long history and a long track record (22 championships won).
During the presentation of the evening team, the Sporting’s coach is copiously whistled
The game starts and the atmosphere is strangely calm. We can only hear a few hundred Braga supporters who are as hot as embers.
Everything changes at the 13th minute, when the local fans wake up and set the mood. I understand then that there was a strike of encouragement at the beginning of the game. The kop on my right sets a great atmosphere with songs, drums and flags, it’s beautiful.
On the lawn, the match is quite messy. The transmissions are imprecise, the Sporting has everything of the team in lack of confidence.
Everything is going to change from the moment Bruno Fernandes opens the score at the 34th minute with a splendid free kick.
From that moment on, the atmosphere becomes excellent. At the 50th minute, Bas Dost doubles the stake on a penalty kick provoked after a great number of the former Lille player Abdoulay Diaby.
At the 68th minute, Bas Dost offers himself a double and brings the score to 3 – 0, final score
Braga, for his part, really didn’t show much and never seemed to be able to equalize after the opening goal.
The party is complete therefore for the Sporting players who took advantage of the match to reconcile with their public.