This World Cup has been full of surprises; Very unexpected ones I must say.The elimination of Italy, and afterwards Spain was unbelievable. Who could ever have imagined they would be eliminated on the first phase?

But much more shocking was the infamous bite episode performed by the Uruguayan player Suarez, who bit an Italian player during the match between Uruguay and Italy. Obviously many viral jokes about the incident are popping up on the internet, and for few days a poster with the Uruguay striker baring his teeth was a big attraction on Copacabana Beach in Rio.

What we should expect next I am not sure, (hopefully no more bites) but definitely lots of excitement, as it was experienced last Saturday when Brazil played Chile in the first game of the round of 16, the knockout stage. We all knew it was going to be a difficult game. But we didn’t know it would be so nerve wrecking!

The crowd in the Brazilian restaurant in Astoria I chose to go seemed ready for the big challenge. Fans were proudly displaying their yellow shirts, Brazil’s flags and all sorts of paraphernalia. Despite the excitement the tension was palpable and mine started way before the beginning of the game, as I had to play strong defense holding a table for my friends that hadn’t arrived yet, preventing people from snatching the so-valuable table from me. Finally my friends arrived, and the loud crowd went silent and focused. The game had started, and after 18 minutes Brazil scored a goal. Maybe now we could breathe calmly. Well, not for too long, because shortly after it was Chile’s turn to score, and the anxiety settled in again.

Chile is a strong opponent and was playing well making it very difficult for Brazil. It was a long and dramatic 90 minutes that finished at 1-1, leaving people so nervous that some of them could not sight tight anymore. Both teams were fighting relentlessly during the 30 minutes of extra time, but none of them scored. That means only one thing: we would have to go to penalty kicks.

This was undoubtedly the most nerve wracking game so far. Penalties always seem an unfair way to decide a game, specially a game so tight like this one.
I took a glimpse of my surroundings: an older lady started -literally- praying the Rosary! My friends ordered another round of caipirinha, but the waiters seemed much more interested in the game. Fair enough. People were standing up, biting their nails, holding on to their flags. Some girls screamed Vai Brasil! Vamos lá! (Let’s go Brazil! Let’s do it!). I caught myself shifting weight from side to side. I was nervous indeed.

But when I saw Brazil’s goalkeeper Julio Cesar shedding some tears and the players hugging each other, while preparing for the kicks, I had a gut feeling Brazil would beat Chile. It may sound a bit corny, but Brazilians are emotional people (and corny sometimes, as emotional people can be). Julio Cesar was the man of the game, making two saves followed by David Luiz, Marcelo and Neymar’s penalties, putting the Seleção into the quarter-finals, and as my sister said, almost giving a massive hard attack to Brazilian fans.

Let’s Go Brazil! This has not been the most amazing Seleção, but we are still unbeaten, and we can win this World Cup at home!

Vai Brasil!

  • Juliane Albuquerque

    Ow!!! It was really difficult to watch that game!! All people here in Brazil was nervous… Off course! I like to read that in Astoria was the same!haha In the next game, I hope the “Seleção” plays better!!

    • Lidi Albuquerque

      It was insane! And to be honest, I have to confess I missed the famous “Haja coração” do Galvão! He really gets the spirit of the game! Haha
      I really hope they play better tomorrow! Let’s win this World Cup!!