Monday 1st August 2016
Kick off 19.30 Actual 19.36
Liverpool F.C. 1 A.S Roma 2, attendance 28,573
29′ 0-1 E. Dzeko
45′ + 1, 1-1 S. Ojo
62′ 1-2 Mohamed Salah
@ Busch Stadium
700, Clark Street
St. Louis, MO 63102
Admission $48 + $9.18 fees, Print at home ticket.
I had taken a mid morning flight into St. Louis Lambert Airport and checked into a hotel near the airport. Transport from here to the stadium was $4 single, which included a $1 supplement from either airport terminal, on the Metrolink light rail transit system, which continues over the state border into Illinois. This was on the red line, getting off at the station conveniently named ‘Stadium’. A return ticket was $3, perhaps cheaper as you have to suffer the journey later in the evening with a fair proportion of low life.
Busch Stadium is home to the St. Louis Cardinals of M.L.B. and is actually the third stadium to take this name. It was opened in 2006 and has a seated capacity of 43,975, but can actually hold 46,861 with standing room. Oddly, the record attendance here was for ‘soccer’ when a friendly between Manchester City and Chelsea drew a crowd of 48,263 on 23rd May 2013.
Press reports were saying a crowd in the region of 35,000 was expected, but obviously Liverpool are not such a big name over here amongst the new generation ‘soccer fans’ and the crowd was disappointing. Five minutes into the match 2 lads, probably in their late twenties, arrived and sat directly behind me. They were trying to work out which team was which, just as a white shirted Edin Dzeko hit the bar with a shot. That will be Liverpool was their assumption, but I pointed out that no, Liverpool are the team wearing black. Next conversation had them discussing the next World Cup……..in Qatar ??????…….with a debate on whether Qatar was a country or a city and whereabouts it was geographically. They settled on it being a country…….somewhere in Africa ??????? I pointed out to them that they had forgotten about the 2018 World Cup in Russia, by which time they had miraculously worked out that I was not American. Having told them I was English, I was then asked whereabouts in England I was from…..”if you think Qatar is in Africa, then you certainly won’t know where I am from in England” I replied. They agreed. Five minutes before halftime they decided they had seen enough and headed off into St. Louis for a drink. So much for the game growing over here.
Roma were the better team throughout, especially Nainggolan, Mohamed Saleh and El Shaarawy. Liverpool gave a run out to all the ‘big’ names, with Alberto Moreno suffering the indignity of being substituted on 82 minutes having only come on as a substitute for James Milner at halftime.