visual & written documentations by a girl that is not an "it" girl.
YUNA | SANTA MONICA PIER, SANTA MONICA, CA
2014 FIFA WORLD CUP | ESTADIO MINEIRAO, BELO HORIZONTE X SUPERMERCADO BRASIL: BRAZIL VS GERMANY
GETTY VILLA | PACIFIC PALISADES, CA
A SAD DAY FOR USA FANS
2014 FIFA WORLD CUP | ESTADIO CASTELAO, FORTALEZA X PLAZA MEXICO: NETHERLANDS VS MEXICO
So far I’ve attended a couple match viewings with countries playing against Mexico, so I decided to join Mexico fans today for their match against the Netherlands.
Thanks to FIFA’s World Cup app, I was able to keep track of the score before arriving at Plaza Mexico during halftime. I honestly had mixed expectations for this match. On one hand, I wanted the Netherlands to win because my parents have a connection with the country from their pre-US immigration days and because the team has De Guzman on their team who is one of the three only ASEAN players in this World Cup (#REPRESENT). On the other hand, Mexico has done really well throughout the World Cup and has won every match I’ve attended viewings for with the exception of the match against Brazil which ended in a tie. But even in that match, Mexico turned heads with their performance. Without Ochoa being the great goalie he is, the match probably wouldn’t have even ended with a tie.
Plaza Mexico is a small plaza located in Lynnwood, CA with its colonial architecture resembling what many, including Arnold Schwarzeneggar, say looks like Mexico City. There was no big screen showing the match, so the only ways to watch the match were by eating in a restaurant such as La Huasteca which seemed to be a popular one, watching it through tiny discolored television screens hoisted on columns in the plaza’s food court, or outside in the continuation of the food court’s seating area on two slightly bigger television screens on opposite walls which is where I spent most of the time watching. Despite the small screens, dozens of Mexico fans crammed into what space was available. It was loud, but once Giovani de Santos gave Mexico that 1-0 lead from outside the box, it got even louder. Air horns, wooden ratchets, songs, and shouts seemed unending. With the final whistle approaching, fans seemed to take an early start on their victory celebration until Sneijdar scored a goal at the 88th minute tying the game. Still, Mexican flags continued waving as did the singing and shouting. But then in a turn of events, Huntelaar gave the Netherlands another goal in the 90th minute giving them an advantage of 2-1. A few Mexico fans left, but the majority of them stayed to watch the last few minutes of the match hoping to get another goal. At the end, El Tri lost. Although devastated that Mexico was knocked out for their sixth time in the round of 16, there were still a lot of singing, shouting, flag waving, and chanting through out the plaza. People were taking photos with each other, kicking soccer balls around, and just having a good time.
The Netherlands next match will be on July 5 against Costa Rica who tied with Greece in today’s match 52 at Arena Pernambuco, Recife.
2014 FIFA WORLD CUP | ARENA PERNAMBUCO, RECIFE X ST. ANTHONY’S CROATIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH: CROATIA VS MEXICO
Despite Croatia’s loss to Mexico, there was a strong wave of Croatian pride throughout the game at the St. Anthony’s Croatian Catholic Parish hosted by the people over at croatianradioprogram.com who I think did a great job in bringing the Croatian-Angeleno community together for the big games.
I arrived seven minutes into the game into a dark room with a large screen lighting up the red and white checkered patterns on the tables, walls, hats, beer bottles and jerseys scattered across the room. At the entrance to the venue was a bar where a man appropriately dressed in a Croatian jersey served both soft and hard drinks including Karlovačko, a popular beer in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina (who is also in the games), and Croatian kebabs called Ćevapi. Along the back wall of the venue were a small television also showing the game to the jumpy young adult Croatian guys unable to sit down, and a small group of Mexico fans trying not to be too seen.
The energy was still high at halftime, but as soon as Mexico started making those goals during the next half, many of the Croatian fans decided to head out early. A few people jumped up when Croatia made their goal, but everyone knew by then that it would take a miracle for Croatia to surpass Mexico or even tie.
Nonetheless, it was a good finale for Group A. Brazil will now play Chile on Saturday in Belo Horizonte, and Mexico will go on to play the Netherlands on Sunday in Fortaleza as part of the first Round of 16 match-ups.
As an elderly Croatian lady walking out after the final whistle said, “Croatia thought they were playing in heaven… Too high… Too high…”
Good game Croatia. I still dig your jerseys.
2014 FIFA WORLD CUP | ESTADIO CASTELAO, FORTALEZA X UNIVERSAL CITY WALK: BRAZIL VS MEXICO
I came in rooting for Brazil, but after a while, I just wanted someone to score. I didn’t care if it was Mexico or Brazil. It’s so depressing seeing zeros and hearing the commentator start counting down the minutes until the end of a match. Mexico’s fans did make watching the match much more entertaining with their sombreros and luchador masks, simultaneously shouting “punto” and singing ”Olé, Olé, Olé”. But mad respect for Ochoa and his curly haired head. Big ups to him.
2014 FIFA WORLD CUP | ESTADIO DAS DUNAS, NATAL X HERMOSA BEACH PIER: GHANA VS USA
I didn’t get to watch the whole match, but I arrived at the Hermosa Beach Pier just a few minutes before Ghana tied with the US, 1:1. Although the group of Ghanians were largely outnumbered by the number of US fans, they made sure everyone knew that they were there. As soon as the score tied, they started banging on drums, dancing, shouting and singing. Everyone had so much energy. And of course, the US fans went crazy after taking the win. Aside from the normal flag waving and shouting, people started jumping on whatever they could find that would hold them and give them extra height, dancing (that includes dirty dancing), playing football and eventually throwing kicking the soccer ball over a the roof a shop, hugging and just plain getting in everyones’ face. A small dog that was featured in a One Direction music video even posed for cameras while dressed up like a true fan complete with a miniature soccer ball, American flag bandana and hat, and a pair of sunglasses. Outside the pier, groups of US fans drove by, waved the US flag and continuously honked while cheering. It was a great match and it seemed like everyone had a great time.
Tomorrow, I’ll be cheering on Brazil while they play against Mexico! Woo!
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