Fireworks for Holland; Real Fireworks for Italy v Croatia
The Netherlands were looking for a spark in its Euro 2016 campaign.
Meanwhile, farther south on the continent, Croatian fans had a few of them.
After a disappoint display in its 2-3 loss to Mexico in its Wed 12 Nov friendly and a sour run in its qualifying matches, Latvia is just what the doctor ordered for the Oranje. Meanwhile, fans attending the Italy v Croatia match were fortunate no one needed a doctor.
Incidentally, North Americans don't usually hear the term arena associated with football pitches. The Dutch have taken a page from North American stadiums; they just slightly shifted the vocabulary.
In Milan, the scene looked more like a war zone than a sporting venue:
A cynic would say that the Croatian fans' flare range was impressive. The officials would agree; no wonder they halted the match.
How does that stuff get into the grounds?
Planning. Cooperation. Fueled by a need to publicize displeasure. Where's there's literally smoke, a fire of discontent is burning intensely.
The Croatian football poobahs would be well-served to get this sorted before the next international window opens in late March, when they host Norway.