World Cup: Australia v Chile – a Río beach tale

The scene for the match was not Cuiaba, in fact not even close. We had a screen, a beach and around 3000 Chilean fans surrounding us.

To start the day a sit down at a beach kiosk on Copacabana with a caipirinha and a swim followed a breakfast at our hotel.

A half hour walk along the Copacabana took us to the Fifa Fan Fest site in Rio, which was on the beach looking onto Sugarloaf mountain; surreal!

The match kicked off as we sunk into our first beer. The start could not be worse as two goals to Chile quickly had the Socceroos dazzled and on the back foot. At that point we feared the worst.

As the game wore on the Aussies seemingly had dropped the shackles and were moving the ball around. Then came the moment when Tim Cahill rose above his marker to head the ball deftly beyond the keeper, and we went into euphoria, us and another 30 or 40 fans around us jumping and screaming. I recall a beer thrown in the air coming down on us, but who cared?

We were in the game! A valiant second half and a disallowed goal again failing to Cahill passed. Our reaction to the second goal far exceeded the first, and only after we called down did we realise it was not allowed.

Time was running out, and a goal on the break to Chile broke Aussie hearts – but there is hope as the Netherlands crushed Spain.

In the end we did make some allies as some Argentineans joined us as we chanted and sung. Some of the Chileans did take offense to some of the chants but in the end the majority of our foes of the day were friends and peace was restored.

Now for the Netherlands and Porto Allegre. The fighting Socceroos are going to give it a shot!


Fan fest Rio


Watching the Socceroos v Chile on Copacabana

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