Following the previous night’s events in Belgium, me and the boys drove a further 230km to Luxembourg City. After dropping our bags off in our hostel we then set about going the extra 19km to the town of Dudelange, home to F91.
The club, known in the local Luxembourgish language as Diddeleng, are a growing power in the country having won six out of the last seven titles with only record champions Jeunesse d’Esch having broken the spell in 2009-10. Dudelange, created by a merger of three teams in 1991, had already claimed the 2010-11 championship trophy prior to this weekend’s game but we still hoped that the champions would put on a show for us. CS Grevenmacher, their opponents and former one-time champion in 2002-03, naturally had other ideas although their league position of ninth place (out of 14), a distant 23 points behind their opponents, suggested that such thoughts would be optimistic.
On the way to the game we met a lone German Groundhopper by the name of Klaus whose alleged devotion to the cause of Bayern Munich most certainly irritated each and every one of us, all of whom are Eintracht Frankfurt supporters and very much against the sort of plastic, over-commercialized pap with which clubs such as the Bavarian giants are renowned. Despite his choice of favoured club Klaus remained with us until the end of what was a half-hearted match. Not surprising given that the F91 “Ultras” section consisted of just three fans and two banners in arguably the most modest attempt of a fan culture that I have personally come across thus far in my time watching football. If the home team’s fans could hardly be bothered to make an effort then it was no surprise to see that feeling transfer to the players.
The home side included one of the league’s top scorers in Daniel da Mota, a naturalized Portuguese who had scored 16 league goals this season leading up to the game and was everybody’s “Man to Watch” before the game began. Ultimately he may as well have been sitting with us in the stands as he was practically a spectator throughout the match. The game saw one goal in the first half with Daniel Huss outpacing the F91 defence to put visiting Gravenmacher into the lead. The game would be settled as a contest after the break with goals from Rhalid Benachou and Samir Louadj, the latter of which was a beautifully taken volley into the top left-hand corner, helping Grevenmacher to a morale boosting 3-0 away victory and depriving the home side any chance of a KSK Heist style comeback. The victory helped Grevenmacher remain in ninth position just behind CS Petange on goal difference and with only four games of the league season remaining and just five points separating them from second placed FC Differdange 03 could this game prove the spark for a potential European tour next season?
Speaking of European tours there was still one more game left on our itinerary. It was now on to Holland for the final leg of the Benelux weekend………