First Team Sub
Jun 28, 2019, 4:52 PM
Post #1 of 4
Overnight National Express coach via Birmingham to Luton Airport, arriving on time at 04:30 to meet up with the rest of the travelling party and catch the 06:00 WizzAir flight to Chisinau.
Arriving in Chisinau it was hot, and so it stayed for the whole weekend.
From the airport we took trolleybus 30 towards the city (2 lei each – 10 pence). This route passes the Zimbru Stadium on its way to the centre, and it was here that we alighted as we had “conveniently” booked in to the Hotel Zimbru which is in the grounds of the stadium.
Having checked in and rested a while we took the bus into the city to check out bus connections for the following days trip to somewhere that doesn’t quite exist.
Friday arrives still very hot and we head back to the central bus station to catch a minibus to Tiraspol, this costs 36.50 lei each (£1.60). The bus is packed, including some standing passengers, but we did manage to snag seats. The trip takes a little over an hour and a half, but this includes a border stop as Tiraspol is in Transnistria.
Transnistria is a primarily unrecognised state that split off from Moldova after the dissolution of the USSR and mostly consists of a narrow strip of land between the river Dniester and the territory of Ukraine. Transnistria has been recognised only by three other mostly non-recognised states: Abkhazia, Artsakh, and South Ossetia. The region is considered by the UN to be part of Moldova (from Wiki).
Much has been made of how difficult it might be to get through this border, but it was straight forward in the extreme. Get out of the bus, passport checked, sent into an adjacent building where a temporary “visa” is printed out, get back in the bus and continue. We were staying over in Tiraspol just one night and thought we would get a 24 hour “visa”, but on checking it was for 48 hours.
Arrived in Tiraspol and made our way to our hotel. Tiraspol seemed much more affluent that the parts of Chisinau we had so far seen, and the hotel was on the posh side.
Transnistria being what it is they also have their own currency (Transnistrian rouble), but there are plenty of exchange offices dotted around. As well as general cash we have to pay for the hotel in cash as well as no cards accepted.
After checking in and going for a meal its finally off to football and Moldova’s most successful team.
FC Sheriff v FC Petrocub Hîncesti
Divizia Nationala, at Sports Complex Sheriff
The sports complex is on the edge of town and is massive, there are three football stadiums (one indoors) and it also caters for many other sports. The game is in the main stadium and admission is free. Only around 600 spectators in attendance to see Sheriff take a two goal lead after 25 minutes, then coast through the rest of the match.
Trolley bus taken out to the stadium, and a rammed minibus back.
After a good night’s sleep (with air conditioning on), a reasonable breakfast and a taxi to the main bus/train station. Tickets bought for the trip back to Chisinau on another hot and full mini bus. Tickets for the return journey cost 43 roubles each (£1.70).
It was back to the Hotel Zimbru for the rest of the trip. Saturdays match was …
FC Zimbru v FC Codru
We had expected this to be in the Zimbru Stadium, but it got moved a week or so before we travelled, and we found out when we got there that the stadium had been hired out for the weekend for a Jehovah’s Witness congress. The match was played on pitch 2 behind the stadium. This is a grass pitch with several rows of seating the length of both sides, beyond this there is also a synthetic pitch with similar facilities. The ground was perfectly adequate for the match as we counted less than 200 in attendance (compared to several thousand in the main stadium next door!)
With a 6pm start it was still very hot for the players, the standard wasn’t that high but they managed to score a goal apiece mid-way through the second half.
Admission was 20 leu (£1) for those who paid.
Sunday gave us a bit of a problem. Originally, we were going to stay in town and go to a Divizia A game, but the Divizia A games also got shifted around late on, leaving one Sunday match left. This was almost two hours north of Chisinau so, via someone who spoke some English in the Moldova FA Fan Shop outside the Zimbru Stadium, we negotiated a car and driver to take us to Rîbnita on Sunday afternoon.
But first an extra game on Sunday morning at 10am when the reserve teams of FC Zimbru and FC Codru played each other. I had hoped it might be in the 3G pitch, but it was on the grass pitch 2 we saw the game on the day before. Still it was pleasant sitting in the shade, and Zimbru ran out easy 5-1 winners in front of a massive crowd of 20 (no charge).
Sunday part two saw us later meet up with our driver at the Fan Shop and head north, but not after being reminded to take passports as Rîbnita (which we hadn’t realised) is also in Transnistria; right on the border.
ISKRA v CS Real Succes
Stadionul Orasenesc, Strada Gvardeiscaia, Rîbnita
This kicked off at 6:30pm with thunder and lightning in the back ground. The ground has four or five rows of (uncomfortable) bench seating on both sides, with a small raised covered stand (probably the original VIP stand) on one side.
An entertaining match which went to form with ISKRA winning 4-2 in front of around 240 spectators, it was free entry so the crowd did fluctuate somewhat throughout.
After the match back to Chisinau, a quick beer and to bed before getting up at 4:30 for a taxi at 5:00 and return flight at 06:55. We went our separate ways again at Luton Airport.
An interesting and entertaining trip. We didn’t really see much of the “tourist” things, so maybe a return one day.
No programmes at any matches.
Food and drink is cheap.
Everyone was friendly and welcoming. A few speak some English.
Can you remember who you were, before they told you who you should be?
Man City Transfer Target!
Jun 29, 2019, 3:19 AM
Location: The North. 'Ich hassen lehm kopfs'
Team(s): Crewe Alex and obviously England.(Unlike a lot on here)
Post #2 of 4
Official attendances. (Pinch of salt).
Sheriff - 1,000.
Zimbru - 300.
Iskra - 300.
Can't give dates , there a secret.
Sheriff only played at 2 home grounds so far this season , 2 x Malaya Sportivnaya and 5 x Bolshaya Sportivnaya.
Last season a game was also played indoors at the Kyrtaya Arena.
July 1, 2019 to June 30,2020 = 15 / 14 / 1 / inc 1 x 0-0. (You know my rules) @ 13 / 07 / 2019.
2019/20. Benelux = Bel = 0-0-0-(0-0-0)-(0-3-4-2). Lux = 0-3. Neth-= 0-0-0-(2 - 2).
Now blogging at https://eccentricity.video.blog/
(This post was edited by dottirofhod on Jun 29, 2019, 3:34 AM)
Reserve Team Sub
Jun 29, 2019, 11:16 PM
Post #3 of 4
Ah! I don't think Martin intended to keep the dates a secret. For the benefit of other readers, the dates were Friday 21 to Sunday 23 June 2019.
Agree with you totally re the 'pinch of salt' official attendances. The match report on the Zimbru OS gave a crowd of approximately 200, which is pretty much in line with our estimate.
First Team Star
Jul 11, 2019, 12:03 PM
Team(s): Barnet, Cockfosters, Truro City, Udinese
Post #4 of 4
Just seen this thread - I was in Moldova from 28/6 to 6/7 and saw the Zimbru-Petrocub game on 30/6 which was played at the main stadium (see WDYG).
We weren't so lucky at the Transnistrian border - on learning we were English one guard demanded 'souvenirs' - I only had a 2p coin on me so he proceeded to go through our luggage and acquire shampoo, shaving cream & razors (!). Meanwhile his mate was telling our driver that his car insurance didn't specify Transnistria (as it isn't a recognised country, I don't see that it could). He initially wouldn't let us pass but a 'donation' changed his mind. (The driver told me that this was about the 5th time of 50 he'd had problems - they particularly don't like journalists, big cameras, or anyone taking photos near the border).
I agree that once you get in, Tiraspol looks nicer and more affluent than Chisinau (I assume you were in the Hotel Russia - didn't see any other decent ones?). The whole country is well worth a tour with the scenery and minority Gagauzian & Roma communities (and all the wineries!) Hotels in the smaller places are pretty basic though.