28.04.2012 SUPER LEAGUE 2011/2012
Grasshoppers Zurich - FC Luzern 2:2
Grasshoppers have been using the local rivals' (FC Zurich) stadium since 2007. Letzigrund has also been the arena for light athletics competition events and in 2008 it was rebuilt to meet the requirements of the European Championship tournament. The old GCZ ground, Hardturm, was closed in 2007 and subsequently razed. The new object (Stadion Zurich) is supposed to be erected according to some sources in 2015 and to some other in 2017.
About 5 thousand people decided to visit Letzigrund to see the Hoppers in action vs. FC Luzern. A truly picnic atmosphere, all speaker announcements including enhusiatic teams introduction were ignored, the Fan-Kurve sector was just gathering and organising itself, the drummer lazily started tapping the instrument. I found a single Grasshoper in my sector (see the photo) who apparently (and I bet fully voluntarlily) was playing the role of the club mascot.
I bought the tickets through the cklub web page and - surprisingly - had to pay 3.50 CHF extra for print outs. So far it always worked the other way round i.e. either ensured a discount or at least was price neutral. I will probably notify the club administrator with whom I exchanged a few emails regarding the under-age seat allocation. The extra fee is curiosal, particularly in the context of a "letter from GCZ Management", a leaflet distributed during the match ensuring the strong management call to cure the club financials and, as symbol of goodwill - a price reduction for the following season tickets. Pure logic says they should avoid penalizing the internauts and make the "hard" ticket buyers pay extra - a lady in the ticket box works just for the latter ones after all.
The first half left no shadow of doubt which of the teams is ranked higher - FC Luzern was competing for the table #2 with Young Boys. The hosts dominated the game ensuring a no brainer 2:0 by the half time and next golas seemed imminent. They lost the momentum though and instead of an even more convincing win, the Zurich audience saw the GCZ come back instead - the Hoppers came out to the pitch for the second half as if haunted by an invisible force. They made it 2:2 ulitimately and with abit of luck could harvest 3 points if a shot 5 minutes before the end had been more precise.
A 20-year-old Steven Zuber became the team's hero. Juddging by the headdress, number on the jersey as well as style of moves, it is likley he came across the Real Madrid and Portugal star.
Murat Yakin was the FCL coach - the bother of more famous Hakan who played for Murat still the previous autumn to move into the 2nd Division Bellinzona - his 7th Swiss team in his career (after Concordia, Basel, Grasshoppers, St.Gallen, Young Boys and Luzern). Besides that, he has got multiple appearances in Galatasaray, VfB Stuttgart, PSG and Al-Gharafa (Quatar). Swiss edition of a Globetrotter.