Monday 24 July 2023

Ground #388 - Stade de Luxembourg

Date: 17th June 2023
Location: Gasperich, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Ground: Stade de Luxembourg

My thirteenth new ground of 2023 was on Saturday 17th June at Stade de Luxembourg in Gasperich, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. The game was Luxembourg vs. Liechtenstein in the 2024 European Championship Qualifying.

Stade de Luxembourg is located on the southern outskirts of Luxembourg City close to the city limits. Opened in July 2021, it is part of a generation of an unused area so has little in the way of neighbours though buildings are being constructed. The ground sits directly south of the A6 road which has a technology and business park on its northern side. At present the stadium is catered for by buses which link in with a park & ride to the east of the stadium. However, an extension to the Luxembourg tram is under construction and once completed in 2024 will see the stadium act as its new southern terminus. 

With Luxembourg's former national stadium failing to comply with UEFA requirements due to its dated design, a decision was made to build a new €80m stadium in the south of the city. The venue may be modest in capacity but is impressive for its overall build. The exterior consists of 560 metal panels which light up to reflect the national colours of Luxembourg at night. It has an unusual floodlight design with these attached as extensions to the 52 cantilever roof supports. The interior is very smart and spacious, particularly at the back of the seating areas. The pitch sits lower than the seating with stairs up to seating. The spectator area consists of a single deck bowl with seating also reflecting the national colours with a mixture of red, white and blue apart from an executive seating section which is dark blue. With the spacious areas at the back of the stand fans have almost a free roam of the ground and are able to move around at will.

The ground has a capacity of 9,471. This is made up with 8,708 standard seats, 512 VIP seats, 27 VVIP seats, 174 press seats and 50 seats for disabled spectators. Whilst this is a small increase of the capacity of the old venue this appears to have been overly cautious with games regularly selling out. Regarding the different stands the South Stand could be considered the 'main' stand. Its exterior houses the ticket office and corporate entrances and will be site of the new tram terminus. Inside it has corporate boxes all the way along the back with a TV gantry above. There is executive seating in the middle of the seating deck with media desks either side and the dugouts at the bottom of the stand. The remainder of the ground is uniform with seating with other items of note the big screens in the north-west and south-east corners and the stadium control box in the south-west corner.

The game between Luxembourg and Liechtenstein was the third game in Group J for Euro 2024 Qualifying. Luxembourg's first two games had seen them hold Slovakia to a goalless draw away before losing 6-0 at home to Portugal last time out. Liechtenstein had suffered two heavy defeats, going down 4-0 in Portugal and 7-0 at home to Iceland. In this contest Luxembourg were on top in the early going but it was the visitors who went closest when Dennis Salanovic curled a free-kick into the sidenetting 25 minutes into proceedings. The hosts sprung to life as the game headed for half-time - first a great run by Yvandro Borges culminated in him shooting across goal and hitting the post. A couple of minutes later Borges was put into a similar position to the left of goal and this time curled into the bottom corner. His celebrations were short-lived though as his teammate Leandro Barriero had taken too long to lay the ball off to him and by the time he eventually did so Borges had strayed offside. Luxembourg began the second half strongly and in the 54th minute a corner found Marvin Martins who headed towards goal. Liechtenstein keeper Benjamin Buchel had to be alert to save and keep the game goalless. Five minutes after this Luxembourg made their break through and grabbed the first goal of the game. Gerson Rodrigues was fed the ball on the right of the area and with his shot squirming past the keeper and trickling towards goal teammate Daniel Sinani made sure by knocking in on the line before any Liechtenstein defenders could get back. The away side had nothing to offer after this and it was instead the hosts who doubled their lead in the 89th minute. It was Rodrigues again at the heart of the action with him running at the Liechtenstein defence and curling a well placed shot into the bottom corner from just outside the area. The win for Luxembourg coupled with an excellent away win in Bosnia a few days later left the country well in the hunt for a potential first appearance at the European Championships.

Result: Luxembourg 2-0 Liechtenstein
Competition: European Championship Qualifying
Attendance: 6,806

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