First Team Star
Jun 12, 2018, 5:23 PM
Team(s): Colchester United, Stocksbridge Park Steels, Borussia Dortmund & Essex CC
Post #1 of 1
I flew to Podgorica, the Montenegrin capital, with Ryanair from London Stansted. The airport is just 11km from the centre and a taxi to my hotel cost only €12. Formerly known as Titograd when Montenegro was part of Yugoslavia, Podgorica is not a big city. Its population is only just over 150,000. There are few old buildings or sights to see but there are plenty of well kept parks and a vibrant cafe culture that attracts crowds of locals in the evenings. The weather was glorious with temperatures in the low thirties with not a hint of rain. As a base Podgorica is excellent with train journeys just over an hour to Kolasin in the mountains (€2) and an hour to Bar (€2) on the coast. There are also daily trains to Belgrade in Serbia. The tourist hotspots of Kotor and Budva are well served by buses. My 4* hotel, a bargain at about Ł35/night B&B, was just ten minutes walk from the cafes, fifteen minutes from the train and bus stations and about the same time from Stadion Pod Goricom, home of FK Buduănost and the Montenegrin national team. To my surprise a lot of locals spoke excellent English.
Wednesday 30th May 20:30
Montenegrin Cup Final
Stadion Pod Goricom
Mladost 2(0) Igalo 0(0)
Red Shirts & Shorts w White Trim Purple & White Shirts / Purple Shorts
Admission, Programme & Team Sheet All Free
I spotted this game on Scoresway a few days before my trip. There was also two play-off games at Kom and Mladost Ljeđkopolje both kicking at 17:30 that would have made nice doubles but my Ryanair flight was delayed two hours and the respective grounds were both about an hour out of the centre of the city centre. So rather than charging off around the city I had a meal and couple of beers before heading to the cup final.
Stadion Pod Goricom or Gradski Stadion Podgorica (City Stadium) has an all seated capacity of 15230. Three sides are covered the main stand, Tribina Zapad (West) and the two stands behind either goal, Tribina Jug (South) and Tribina Sjever (North). The Tribina Istok (East) is uncovered. There were a number of bars outside the ground at the north and south ends of the stadium and all seemed to busy.
On arriving I was informed that admission to all the stands was free. I chose to sit in the Tribina Zapad which proved to be a good decision as I was able to blag a free programme and team sheet from one of the officials looking after the VIPs. Refreshments were limited to soft drinks & water and nuts & salt sticks. It was a good job I had already eaten.
The final was between FK Mladost Podgorica, who finished third in the First League and qualified for the UEFA Europa League and FK Igalo 1929 who finished eighth in the Second League. Igalo come from a small town with a population of about 4000 near Herceg Novi on the coast. Most of the crowd reported as about 4000 in the Dnevne Novine (Daily Newspaper) and 4500 on Scoresway were supporting local team Mladost and filled most of Tribina Zapad. Two or three hundred had made the two and a half hour journey to the capital from Igalo and they were located in the Tribina Jug.
The final proved to be an entertaining affair with Igalo giving the big boys from the capital a hard game. The game turned in three second half minutes when Mladost centre forward Admir Adrovic scored twice in the 54th and 57th minutes. His first was a header from a right wing cross and his second he broke clear, rounded the keeper and side footed in. To Igalo’s credit they fought to the end but it was Mladost who raised the impressive trophy.
Saturday 2nd June 20:15
Stadion Pod Goricom
Montenegro 0(0) Slovenia 2(1)
Red Shirts w Yellow Trim / Red Shorts White Shirts w Light Blue Mountain Design / White Shorts
Admission €8 Programme & Team Sheet Free
Tickets for this game went on sale as late as Friday from a small ticket office in the Sportski Centar Moraca on Ivana Milutinovica near the Union Bridge. Prices ranged from €2-€8. I went for the top price seats in the centre of the Tribina Zapad and again was rewarded as I was able to acquire a programme and team sheet which seemed to be only available in the VIP section. No improvements on the refreshment front and unlike for the cup final all the bars around the ground were shut for the international. The attendance was reported as 2944 but if the capacity is just over 15k I’d have said it was nearer to 5000-6000.
The game it has to be said was not the most exciting. Montengro had their chances but the visiting Slovenians were more clinical scoring a goal in each half. They took the lead in the 39th minute after being awarded a soft penalty. Bezjak converted from the spot. Their second goal came from a quick breakaway in the 79th minute. Zajc finished off the move firing in from a pass on the right side.
(This post was edited by sheffgeoff on Jun 12, 2018, 5:25 PM)