Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kicking Things Off

Last summer the world - most of it - was engaged in the FIFA World Cup Soccer tournament hosted by South Africa and singing along with Shakira to a little ditty called "Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)".  A short month ago, things were repeated in Germany with an epic showdown between the USA and Japan for the title of the FIFA Women's World Cup final.  Well, low and behold, I arrived back in Colombia to the start of the semi-final round of competition for the Copa Mundial Sub–20 (U-20 World Cup tournament), with games hosted in cities all over the country!

Rita, Rob, Samantha, and me, after Portugal's vistory.
This afternoon a few friends and I had the privilege to attend the semi-final match between Portugal and Guatemala right here Cali in the newly renovated stadium downtown.  Portugal won 1 - 0 with a penalty kick early in the first half to advance to the quarter finals.  There was so little action the rest of the game that the fans around us started called the losing team "Guatemalo" (malo = bad).

Afterwards we headed to a nearby bar to watch Colombia take on Costa Rica live on television.  The game was being played in Bogotá, but most of the fans at our particular watering hole were decked out in full Colombian soccer regalia.  It was a close and tense match ending with a national victory 3 - 2.  As I sit in my apartment now, there are still horns being honked several blocks away near the bars and clubs that are open celebrating.  I'm looking forward to the craziness if they advance even farther!



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