Wednesday, November 21, 2007

And a nation goes wild

There was a huge futbol game yesterday between Colombia and Argentina. World Cup qualifier match. Here in Bogotá. And, Colombia won 2-1. I was sitting in bed with the game on very low (as the misses was sleeping) while I built an empire on Civilization 4 (yes, I’m a dork). Each time Colombia scored, the building practically rocked with cheers. The entire city was tuned into that game and the roars were heard in the building, across the street, down the road, and everywhere in between. Futbol is huge and nothing is bigger than the World Cup.

After the victory, the car honking began. A great number of people, it seems, took to the streets to celebrate. There was singing, there was honking, there was shouting. The people celebrated late into the night. When I turned in at about 11:30, I still heard the horns and the cheers.

This victory was more significant than Saturday’s over Venezuela. Argentina is hated down here. Most people refer to Argentineans as arrogant, especially in terms of futbol. And they still talk proudly of a match that Colombia 5-0 in Buenos Aires 14 years ago. So, it goes without saying that there was a significant amount of pride on the line.

But more so, in terms of the World Cup, Colombia has now drawn Brazil and beaten Argentina, the consensus two best teams in South America. They still have to play Uruguay, which is a very strong side, but with 8 points (2 wins, 2 draws), Colombia is in strong position to return to the World Cup after not making the field in ’06. I can only imagine how crazy this city, this nation will be if Colombia makes it in ’10.

UPDATE: It's worth nothing that Colombia has played 4 of 20 qualifying games and that the World Cup is 993 days away. Yet, the passion is so high that everyone is talking about the match at the office and half the country celebrated into the wee hours of the morning. Viva futbol Colombiana!



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