The Thüringen Derby

Last weekend we attended the clash between Carl Zeiss Jena and Rot Weiß Erfurt at the Ernst Abbé Sportfeld.  The Thüringen Derby has arguably not had so much importance than this occasion with both clubs battling for promotion – the team who wins the division will enter the Promotion Play-off.
Carl Zeiss Jena Derby
With the Ernst-Abbe-Sportfeld being reconstructed it meant that the capacity was reduced to 7300 and the tickets would not get past sales to Season Ticket Holders and Members.  Though we were persistent with the club we had no joy, but eventually secured our tickets via TJM Podcast who had been able to source via a member.

Getting to Jena

We boarded the 12.19 train from Leipzig which arrived at 13.44 in Jena with one change.  On arrival in Jena there were two routes to the stadium to avoid fans confronting each other and there was a significant police presence and on the walk we stopped at Zum Roten Hirsch which allowed drinking both inside and out.

Zum Roten Hirsch, Jena.

The police presence kept rival fans apart before the match.


This was obviously a busier than normal matchday and the queues for entry and to go through security was longer than expected for a Regionalliga match.  This delay meant that getting a beer before the match was long-winded, the queue wasn’t moving so we entered the arena around 20 minutes before kick off unlubricated.  As expected it was already extremely busy, but persistent weaving up the stand led us to a great viewing area directly behind the goal.

Current Standings

With Cottbus winning on Friday evening they had taken top spot from Erfurt making this match 2nd v 3rd.  As we settled into our position a large flag was unveiled around the scoreboard “Kampfen Siegen” translated as “Fight, Win” setting the scene nicely.

Banner unveiled ahead of kick-off.

Carl Zeiss Jena 2  Erfurt 2

It took until the second half for The Thüringen Derby to find it’s first goal when Pasqual Verkamp scored. This should have been his second goal however his first half penalty had struck the outside of the post.  The hosts then went 2-0 up through Jonathan Muiomo and with Erfurt not offering much going forward it felt like the 3pts were secured.

Limited capacity

A 75th minute headed goal by Moritz for Erfurt though seemed to start an inevitable change in fortunes and it was just five minutes later when they had a spotkick themselves, given for no obvious reason.  This was converted by Artur Mergel after the referee apparently noticed a handball. With the game  now poised at 2-2 it now looked more likely that Erfurt would snatch all three points but Carl Zeiss Jena will be annoyed that they threw this match away when in such a good position.
The result leaves Jena in third on 41pts, Erfurt in second place with 45pts and Cottbus remain top with 46pts. Erfurt though have one game in hand on both rivals.
After the match we stayed in the stadium and were able to explore the stand and club shop so didn’t leave the area for a good 20 minutes.

We met up with TJM Podcast at Jena.

Pitchside after the match

The iconic CZJ logo

Visiting the Ernst Abbé Sportfeld was a great experience and one we would recommend. We look forward to returning when the ground renovations are complete!
Whilst Jena seemed a nice small city, we stayed in Leipzig and after returning on train we headed to a great bar we know, attached to a small theatre, called Die naTo which is a bar attached to a theatre.

Die naTo Bar, Leipzig

Immediately opposite is the Irish bar Killwilly which is open until the early hours.

Killywilly Bar, Leipzig.

The Thüringen Derby was a superb experience whilst we will return to Jena again.   You could enjoy a trip to the Ernst-Abbe-Sportfeld when you book one of our Mystery Football Weekends.  Low deposit options are available now so you can book well in advance!  Click here to find out more.