Earlier this week I discovered that the England National team had a friendly against the Czech Republic Wednesday night. Seeing as how I had never been to an England game, this seemed like an ideal time to do it. I booked a ticket online, and waited for the game. Wednesday after work, I got on the Tube and headed to Wembley, in the northeast end of the city.
Wembley is a very new stadium - opened last year after significant delays and issues. Let me tell you, it was worth the wait - what a spectacular facility! First off, it’s huge - the announced attendance at the game was just shy of 70,000 people, and the place looked about 3/4 full. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a stadium that big before.
The crowd was in pretty good spirits - I love what they do during the anthems - they give both ends colored cards that make up the England flag. That was pretty cool. Even though the stadium wasn’t full, the place was loud. Give the Czech fans credit. They were in the minority, but they made enough noise to get noticed. And frankly, they had more to cheer about during this game.
After a bit of early England pressure, the Czech’s scored first, on their first real chance of the game, due to some soft England defense. The boys managed to tie the game just before the half, on a well-executed set piece from Beckham.
Sadly, this was to be one of the few well-executed plays in the game for England. Frankly, they played horribly throughout the whole game. They look disorganized and really didn’t trouble the Czech side at all. And they got opened up on the counter-attack all the time. The Czech’s regained the lead almost immediately after the second half started, and it looked like the was no way England would equalize. It was a bit of miracle that they managed to squeak out a soft goal at the end of the game, to steal an undeserved draw.
Still, for me it was a good evening. I got to see a game (I think I’ll do that again, maybe for one of the World Cup qualifiers if possible) and see Wembley Stadium