Thursday 2nd October, 2008. What an amazing day!
After a very very early start we arrived in Porto about 11am and made our way downhill through the main shopping street, discovering the bars and restaurants along the riverbank by 11.30.
There were people in Pompey shirts everywhere. There were flags and shirts displayed over bars, and the Quay radio station were broadcasting. The ‘Super-Bock’ beer was flowing well, songs were being sung, the sun was beating down and a good time was being had by all. There was a police presence, but they kept back, they weren’t needed, there was no trouble, only high spirits.
A local man was entertaining the crowd. He’d put his shopping bags down and had taken a gerkin (or perhaps it was a cucumber) out of his shopping and was singing into it as if it was a microphone. Sometimes he would pretend it was a phone. The Pompey lads soon had him singing ‘Blue Army’ and then ‘Lossana Diarra’. He was given money, and bought beer, which he would balance on his head. Before long the cries started of ‘Get him on the Quay’, and before long this happened. While he was doing this a local dog took advantage of the unguarded shopping to make his own mark on it!
One of the Pompey lads even paid the old lady with no teeth a couple of euros for a full-on snog. That’s super-bock goggles for you!
The super-bock flowed, the songs were sung. Not sure the lad’s missus’s would have been too chuffed about ‘Peter Crouch you can *** my wife’ Then there was ‘Jermain Defoe, Super-Bock, he scores with this head, he scores with his ***’ Haven’t heard that one at the game yet though?
We went for some lunch and met Pompey4me and UKTony, both proudly sporting their Vital Pompey T-shirts – I must collect mine off Chix!
Then it was time to be collected in the coach to go to the game. I put on my Cup Final special shirt for the occasion and got out the blue hair spray. The coach made its way through the Porto rush hour, and out to the hills, eventually leaving us in a coach park where we had to scramble over a muddy bank before finding our way to the stadium. We had seats in the second tier right behind the goal, although we did have to move because we were in the wrong block – and no stewards anywhere to be seen.
The place began to fill up, and the atmosphere began to build. Because of the lack of stewards, we could stand up the whole time, and we made the most of being on the European tour. We were noisy and the atmosphere was great. Wish I had some tickertape, but I left it till the last minute and couldn’t find a newspaper to rip up. Vitoria cheated, they had men on the rafters chucking buckets of the stuff down. The anticipation built up to the start of the match and we were loud, we were very loud, we really sang our hearts out for the lads. Then . . . it all went horribly wrong.
What an awful first half! We couldn’t pass or keep the ball and our defending was pitiful, allowing Vitoria to equalise our 2-0 lead from the home leg. The second goal appeared at the time to cross the line in slow motion, and Jamo just stood there. I wondered if he was turning into Knightsie! But having seen the highlights now, it didn’t look so bad, and Jamo just didn’t see it. But at the time, it was shades of the 6-0 defeat at Citeh, I felt really flat. But then in the second half Arry sorted it out, we played a bit better and at least got to the 90 minutes without conceding again. I began to realise we could still win this. I imagined the moment when we would score and our end of the ground would erupt.
And then of course it happened. Crouchie scored at our end and we went totally loopy! And then he scored again. We almost lifted the roof off. All of a sudden the noise was back, we were celebrating and partying like crazy. After the game, the Vitoria fans applauded the Pompey fans.
What a rollercoaster ride! The main thing was we were through. I would have loved to have gone out celebrating by the river, and if I was 23 instead of 43 I might have made it, but I was shattered. Tired but very happy. Bring on Milan!
Written by tracyc.
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