SAN LORENZO – HURACAN (1:0)
STADIUM: ESTADIO PEDRO BIDEGAIN
Saturday 23rd April 2016
This was dodgy I thought as my taxi driver dropped me off. I had a 10 minute walk past a slum area next to the stadium, this being a result of the heavy traffic. My taxi driver had to drop me four streets away meaning a slightly nervous stroll. Never seen anything like it before in my life. Sewage running down the street, people sleeping in burnt out cars, litter everywhere and the stench of hot acrid excrement due to lack of any proper drainage. Trying not to make eye contact and looking like I knew where I was going, I pressed full steam ahead and was glad to make it to the stadium without anyone trying to approach me.
It’s a towering old school bowl of a stadium, a huge mass of concrete. There were people, cars, buses and police everywhere. Car horns tooted trying to get through the thronging mass of the crowd, this was of course one of the biggest derbies in Argentine football….San Lorenzo against Huracan.
I was well organised having purchased my ticket in the morning from the San Lorenzo clubhouse and although tickets were still on sale at the stadium up until kick off, I knew that time may have been tight following the conclusion of the previous game at All Boys. Getting inside was slow due to the amount of people and I thought at one stage I was going to miss kick off. As I was waiting in the queue another gate opened and I scuttled to it where upon entry I climbed up a steep set of stairs to the top of the open terrace.
Wow! This was impressive. I was very high up at the top of the terrace and could see a very long way in the distance and got a good view of part of the Buenos Aires skyline. The noise was deafening never had I heard a noise like it…..WOW it was a powerful experience. Now I knew what it meant when people had said to me previously “you can feel the passion”. The singing cranked up a notch when the teams entered and then when the band arrived late and marched into the crowd, the place erupted. Everyone was on their feet jumping up and down signing OOOOHHHH SAN LORENZO…..OOOOOOOHHHH SAN LORENZO.
On the pitch the football was probably the best I had seen from the previous three games I had seen in Buenos Aires but it still was not to a high standard that I had expected. San Lorenzo scored in the second half and the long range daisy cutter was the only goal that separated the teams, San Lorenzo even had the misfortune to miss a penalty but the derby victory was theirs to savour and boy did they celebrate. Outside I saw people dancing on the roofs of cars and while I stood with a friend drinking some beer we saw 10 buses leaving and they were shooting fireworks into the night sky from inside the buses out through the roof. A taxi ride back to the centre, pizza and more beer was in order rounding the day off in fine style.