The World Cup celebrations continued on June 26 with yet another USA match at BOS BBQ. Although we lost the match against Germany, we stayed alive and advanced to the Round of 16 so overall, we took it as a win. (Plus, looking back on it, I’m pretty proud of a 1-0 loss to Germany, right??)
The next day, Michael and I packed our bags & our baby and headed with Joe and Jake to Belo Horizonte for the weekend where we would get to watch Brazil play Chile in their first match in the knock-out phase. We rented an apartment for the weekend and through friends of friends were lucky enough to find a babysitter to watch Colt all day while we enjoyed a full Saturday focused on the game.
We were dropped off about 1.5 miles from the stadium where we then walked along a sea of yellow jerseys until we arrived at the Mineirão.
The walk to the stadium was pretty fun – full of ice-cold beers and lots of Brazil chants – everyone was in the spirit. And the enthusiasm only grew as we arrived at the Minerão.
I couldn’t believe that the first World Cup game I was attending was one with Brazil playing! We arrived at the stadium about an hour and a half early, so after walking around a bit, we went to find our seats.
Since you buy tickets through a lottery system, you never really know what your seats are going to be like, but we totally lucked out with these.
I really can’t describe what the game was like. The entire thing was amazing. Brazil’s first goal was right in front of us and the whole place went nuts. But when we headed into extra time and then penalties, the entire stadium was so packed with intensity I thought it was going to burst. The man behind us said that his heart was not prepared for PKs and literally walked out before they started, unable to handle the crazy pressure of the moment. It was something I’ll never forget and for Brazil to walk away with the win was sweet icing on the cake.
We flew home the next day and even at the airport, the World Cup fandom raged on…
The day after we returned from Belo Horizonte, Michael and I both landed unexpected tickets to Tuesday’s Argentina v Switzerland game in São Paulo. I was so pumped to get to see Argentina play AND get to see the brand new stadium in São Paulo.
The game was funny because it was filled with Brazilians who did nothing but cheer against Argentina and Argentines who did nothing but cheer against Brazil! This would make sense if Argentina had been playing Brazil, but they were playing Switzerland! Regardless, the rivalry between Brazil and Argentina – especially when it comes to soccer – is so strong, that the two countries just cheered and chanted against each other the whole time! I was originally cheering for Argentina but I found that I could never join in any of their chants because they were rarely related to the game but instead were all just negative about Brazil! Too funny. Thankfully we were wearing our USA gear in prep for our game later that afternoon, so we didn’t upset any Brazilians.
The sad part of this story is that we all left the game a little early to get back to BOS in time to watch the USA game and we MISSED the Argentina goal in over-time! The even sadder part is that later that day, despite Tim Howard’s heroic efforts, the US was knocked out by Belgium.
Thankful that we still had Brazil to cheer for, we channeled all of our energy there. This, as everyone knows, ended in quite severe heartbreak for the entire country as we took a crushing 7-1 loss to Germany.
Once the US and Brazil were both out of the tournament, our enthusiasm levels went down a bit, but we still watched Brazil compete in their final match to come in 4th and then we watched Germany defeat Argentina for the title.
To be honest, it was kind of an exhausting month, but it was incredibly exciting and truly unforgettable. So thankful we got to be here and be a part of it!