Sgwarnog: In the Field

By sgwarnog


This one is specially for @sister, @admirer and all our blip friends from the Netherlands.

The Oranje were up against the Azzurri in the final of the 2018 UEFA U17 Championship at Rotherham United's New York Stadium. The Netherlands, who had knocked out host nation England at the semi-final stage, dominated the first half but it remained goalless at half-time. They finally took the led early in the second half but were then stunned by two superb goals from Italy within a couple of minutes of each other which turned the tie on its head. An equaliser was found, but with it being 2-2 at the final whistle it was straight to penalties; U17s play 80, rather than 90 minutes and don't have extra time.   The shoot-out was very one-sided with the Netherlands prevailing 4-1. Today's image captures the point where coach Kees van Wonderen joins in the celebrations after the winning penalty, with the Italian keeper coming to terms with the defeat behind the celebratory huddle. You can watch three minutes of official UEFA highlights here, and it's worth it for the Italian goals.

To make a day of it I'd taken the train to Meadowhall and then walked the last few miles along the Trans-Pennine trail which, in this stretch, follows the banks of the River Don and the towpath of the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal. There were bridges and locks galore, including walking beneath the double decker Tinsley Viadiuct. I spent an hour or so counting butterflies in Blackburn Meadows nature reserve, which has been reclaimed from a former major sewage works before continuing into Rotherham past some fine community murals. I had a quick mooch about the town as it was my first visit before retreating to the stadium for a well-earned sit down.

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