A beautiful Sunday afternoon, bright sun and a dramatic sunset on the horizon over the city, a packed and raucous stadium, an important match and thrilling come-from-behind victory for the home team… last Sunday’s match between Valencia and Sevilla at the Mestalla offered everything a soccer fan could want.
We had been late in deciding on going to the match. And Sevilla being such a popular team, all the tickets sold out early. On Saturday, I had been frustrated in my attempts to purchase tickets at the official outlets, and had pretty much given up on the thought of attending.
However, about an hour before the game, we happened to be walking close to the Mestalla, and I figured I might try my luck at the stadium ticket windows. Apparently, a large number of seats are held until just before game time, because after waiting in a short line, I scored 4 excellent tickets on the stadium’s north side. Obviously, I can’t guarantee it always works this way, but for anyone who’s desperate for tickets to a sold out game, this is a last-minute opportunity definitely worth a shot. I would ignore the numerous scalpers offering tickets at a slightly inflated price… who can tell if the tickets they have are even legit?
Sevilla went up early in the match, but had a player sent off just before half-time. With the extra-man advantage, the second half belonged entirely to Valencia. It took awhile for the equalizer to come (on a penalty kick), and even longer for them to go up (another penalty). Just before the game ended, Valencia sealed the win with a third goal — the packed stadium was going nuts about the hard-fought and decisive 3-1 victory over an excellent Sevillian side.
I’m not sure how much longer the old Mestalla stadium is going to be in use — construction on the new Mestalla is constantly being delayed. But if you’re a fan of classic city soccer stadiums, don’t wait too long to visit. It’s almost always a great experience… especially if the good guys win.