Thursday, August 25, 2011

U20 World Cup Final Part 2

Remember the guy in the Utilikilt from Part 1 of the U20 Final post (if not, click here to read Part 1)? Well he and a bunch of other guys were hanging around the stadium to help coordinate the World Cup Closing Show which was probably the most elaborate show I have ever seen in person. Here are a few pictures of some of the performers getting ready, and then since pictures can't really do justice to the performance I have included a few videos (the first 2 are mine and the 3rd is what was shown on TV here) to give you an idea of what it was like.




After that amazing spectacle, the crowd was buzzing in anticipation of the game. The crowd went wild as the teams came out. If you look closely at the picture below you can see the WC trophy on a pedestal just behind the Brazil flag.

The teams were greeted by some dignitaries and while the national anthems of both Brazil and Portugal were playing I was able to get this pic of two of the more important ones: to the far left of the suits is FIFA President Sepp Blatter (if there was ever someone Colombians hoped the FARC would kidnap...) and just to the right of him is the President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos.

Just like the 3rd place match, this game started with a bang as both teams scored goals in the first 10 minutes. The picture below is actually of the ball on its way in for Brazil's first goal (look just to the left of Portuguese player #15)!

A few more action shots from the game here.

This Brazilian, named Oscar (for those of you not familiar with soccer, Brazil wears yellow jerseys even though yellow is only a very small part of their flag and many Brazilians stars tend to go by one name and it apparently doesn't matter if it is their last or first name), was the star of the game as he scored all 3 of Brazil's goals including a nice rebound finish to tie the game at 2 and send it into extra time, and then an amazing chip shot to win it about 10 minutes before we would have headed to penalty kicks. The crowd absolutely exploded after that last goal as it was so unexpected, beautiful, and important in that it decided the game. I can't even describe the sound of the whole crowd gasping and then screaming their heads off all at the same time.

It was an incredible day of soccer (9 goals in 2 matches!) and an amazing experience overall as Brazil won a very even and entertaining match 3 -2 and celebrated their championship on the field to the delight of the pro-Brazil crowd. (Interestingly, the Colombians were cheering and even chanting at times for France to win the 3rd place game since Mexico had knocked the host nation out of the event).

After the game, the guys (from left to right:Bob, Zach, and Adam... in a Carlos Valderrama wig) and I hopped in a cab and grabbed a burger at El Corral Gormet to finish off what has been my best day so far in Colombia. If the real WC is anything like this, I can't wait to see a game!

2 comments:

alopezbarton said...

So glad you posted. Looks like it was totally worth the ticket price. I'm still super jealous, I kept looking for you on TV but didn't see you.

Danny Beerseed said...

Awesome! So jealous!