Ingm and I returned to the site of our first ground hopping adventure in Berlin, the Karl-Liebknecht-Stadion in Babelsberg, just outside of Berlin toward Potsdam.
This time it was a rainy, cold day, making for a very different atmosphere than during our previous visit in September.
But, despite the miserable weather, 1,200 people showed up for Turbine Potsdam taking on Borussia Mönchengladbach.
One of the reasons for this number (the highest average in the women’s Bundesliga, compare that to around 300 for home games for Gladbach). One of the reasons for this popularity is the quality of the game played by Turbine with their new coach. They are leading the league and are part of what might turn into a magical soccer year for us and for Berlin, maybe even a sort-of treble, of Europa League qualification for Hertha, promotion to the first division for Union, and a championship for Potsdam? Wow!
Turbine completely dominated the game from start to finish. Despite their pressure, it took some time in the first half until they finally scored the 1:0 goal.
Even though they could have easily scored in the double-digits, Potsdam ended up winning “only” 5:0.
Their right wing is really strong with midfielder Bianca Schmidt linking up with winger Eseosa Aigbogun so successfully time and again.
The noticeably tall defenders were never bothered. Unfortunately, my favourite player for Turbine, Tabea Kemme, also of the national team, has been recovering from knee surgery.
One of the joys of watching the match, again, was that it is a very honest brand of football that is being played in the top women’s division. What I mean by this is that although all defenders ended up mud-streaked from tackling (no lack of physical play and effort here), the referee must have only called a total of less than ten fouls. No cards were necessary. And, perhaps even more refreshing, no fouls led to an attacker rolling in seeming agony on the pitch for minutes at a time.
The fans were also charming. Lots of local dialect being spoken, lots of enthusiasm, but at the same time, a much more intimate feeling than at big men’s games. I had the feeling that a good number of the spectators were involved in the clubs or perhaps knew players.
We had a great time and we’re coming back to the “Kalli”!