Stories and pictures of the beautiful game.
Loko Vltavín a.s. vs. SK Horní Měcholupy 4:0 (0:0)
November 24, 2012 | attendance: 130 | pictures
The club that is called Loko Vltavín today was founded by rail workers and students in 1898. Over the years, the name changed several times, but for the last couple of decades it was TJ Lokomotiva Praha – that name will still greet you in iron letters as you pass through the main entrance. The players’ green-and-white jerseys have borne the current name since 2005.
The stadium na Plynárně is located close to the Holešovice train station in northeastern Prague. Loko currently play in the third division (Česká fotbalová liga), and tickets are sold for 40,- CZK from a ramshackle table. The live recording of a catchy punk rock concert bleats from tinny speakers as I enter the ground, and they keep playing it until close to kickoff.
The ground has a capacity of 3,000, half of which fit in the main stand – sitting there would put you in an excellent position to take a good look at the stately hedge that grows alongside of it. But you could also stand on some scattered steps on the other side; there would be an apartment building right behind you from which residents can enjoy a good view of the game. At half time, take a walk behind the main stand to enjoy the view of an overgrown volleyball stadium (with floodlights!).
Seniors and a few young families made up the majority of the 130 spectators today; they spent a relaxed, sunny morning of football (kick off was at 10.15am already). A handful of fans waved a big green-and-white flag and affectionately shouted “Lokada!” (which is the diminutive for “Lokomotiva!”).
Pressure today was on Loko who were second in the league while their opponents dwelled at the bottom (15th of 18 teams). However, SK Horní Měcholupy – from the suburbs of Prague – are Viktoria Ziskov’s (second league) farm team. As the Druha Liga is already on winter break, a surprisingly large number of Viktoria players wore the Horní jersey today and made Loko’s lives harder than expected.
It took a set piece early in the second half to break the spell: Loko headed home their first goal after a corner kick, and the Loko fan with the flag started waving it frantically. He would be busy doing that during the last ten minutes of the game, as Loko scored thrice more, but right before that happened, the home team almost lost their lead. While Horní never gave up, they rarely created any real danger until the referee granted them a penalty. Loko’s keeper dived into the right corner, though and saved the day for his team.
It was a very pleasant morning game, a perfect contrast and addition to the loud and never resting Slavia or Sparta fan blocks. If you’re in Prague, don’t miss out on Loko – your family won’t begrudge you a game you will be back from when they are about to get out of bed.
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