Even thousands of miles away, World Cup fever is still going strong in Red Bull Arena, where fans gathered to watch the Brazil vs. Portugal game Friday morning. Thousands of ardent soccer fans watched the competition on the arena’s two large video boards, providing a stadium experience despite the distance from the actual competition.
There was a good mixture of both Brazilian and Portuguese fans in the crowd, all wanting the same thing - a win for their team. The rivalry was especially intense considering the countries’ histories and the fact that the arena is located adjacent to the Ironbound District – a community that has many fans from both factions.
“This is my first time here at the arena. It’s better than I expected. Its really nice and I am definitely going to come back,” said a Brazilian fan, Ravis Ramirez. “The atmosphere is amazing. The game is pretty hard. My heart feels like its going to come out of my body every two seconds. It’s a close game with a good match up.”
With sunny skies and enthusiastic fans cheering on their teams, the game ended in a 0-0 draw. However, there was reason for excitement, as both teams move on to knockout round with group winners Brazil facing Chile and Portugal taking on Iberian rival, Spain.
“I think Brazil dominated the game possession wise, but Portugal did well on the counter though,” explained a Portuguese fan, Jason Desillo from West Caldwell, NJ. “All in all, it was a good game.”
Red Bull New York will host another free viewing event at Red Bull Arena’s Bulls’ Corner and Club Lounge for the 2010 FIFA World Cup knockout round match between the United States and Ghana tomorrow, Saturday, June 26 at 2:30 PM. Doors are open at 1:00 PM and fans are encouraged to come and enjoy the atmosphere and the drink specials. For more information, CLICK HERE.
Sarah Wasser is a columnist for NewYorkRedBulls.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.