Thursday, June 28, 2012

Spain vs. Portugal

The entire country was gearing up for the semi-final game between Spain and Portugal yesterday. Jess mentioned the fact that a bunch of us wanted to watch the game, so her co-workers reserved the back of the bar called Bergantiños near Moncloa (the university district slightly north of where I live)

literally a 10-minute walk from my apartment, for maybe 20 of us and a bunch of our co-workers to watch the game (after a much-needed hour-long siesta of course). 

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures because I was afraid something would happen to my camera (turns out it was probably one of the more safe places I've brought my camera), but every time the Spaniards came close to scoring, the entire bar would cry out with an "oooo" "ooo" "AAAARRGGG" when they inevitably didn't come close. 

The game went into overtime, with neither Portugal nor Spain being able to break the other's defenses. Both teams came too close to scoring for comfort, although Spain had more almost-goals than the Portuguese. And all the locals were bashing Ronaldo for being too much of an actor and thinking that he's too good-looking. 

But after the score was 0-0 after overtime as well, the sounds coming from the bar during the penalty kicks were ridiculous. With every single kick, it was either chanting cheering "Casillas, Casillas" (the Spanish goalkeeper), or chanting the name of the Spaniard taking the penalty kick. Every scored goal by the Spaniards and every block by Casillas gave way to an eruption of cheer from the entire bar - MIT, locals, co-workers alike. 

When it was 2-2 in penalty kicks, both Spain and Portugal having missed their first kicks, Spain scored while Portugal missed. At this point everyone in the bar was on their feet, watching what would happen next. If Spain scored their next kick, everything would be over and Ronaldo wouldn't even be able to take his last penalty kick. Lo and behold, Spain pulls through and scores. As soon as the ball rolled into the goal, the entire bar started jumping up and down chanting sí, se puede (yes, we can!), punctuated with cries of Viva España! (long live Spain!) every now and then. 

Chatting with locals who were not my co-workers and generally socializing with other MIT folks over a tinto de verano and a soccer game was a great way to spend part of an evening.

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