My World Cup experience

Friday, June 20

Friday, June 20

IT'S  game day. The Socceroos play The Netherlands in their second round games and it's an early kick-off.

After an early morning stroll and some time in the sun on one of Salvador's many beautiful beaches, we make our way to the FIFA fan fest site - a specifically set up location to enable all fans to watch the games as one in a unique atmosphere.

As we arrive 30 minutes before kick-off we find that in true relaxed Brazilian style this game will not be televised at the fan zone.

Wind back 24 hours and an estimated 10,000-15,000 fans packed the site to witness the Brazil v Mexico game. That was in an amazing atmosphere, showcasing just how passionate the Brazilian fans can be . The result was not ideal for the locals. It was a great example of how quickly the mood can change, as joy turned frustration. 

Our travelling party, which includes Vikings captain Matt Jamieson and Ballarat Red Devils forward Dom Swinton, is left to find a new spot to watch the game with just 25 minutes of kick-off.

 Matthew Jamieson, left, and  Michael Busija who are enjoyiing the World Cup party, Brazilian style.

Matthew Jamieson, left, and Michael Busija who are enjoyiing the World Cup party, Brazilian style.

After frantically searching, we ffind  a bar in the Barra region  and as match starting time etches closer the Aussie contingent begins to grow.

Expectations are not too high, but as the Socceroos settle into the game spirits rise. That is until that man Arjen Robben gets a half opportunity and scores.

The disappointment is only momentary as Tim Cahill typifies what the Socceroos are all about  and delivers a stunning volley into the back of the net.

The roar is deafening. Strangers are hugging (who was that?) and the neutrals all of a sudden honourary Australians.  

We're still talking about. It will be one of the lasting memories of this trip no matter what happens in the remainder of the tournament.

The place again erupts again when Mile  Jedinak converts from the penalty spot. Could it be? Can we do it? How long left?

We now know no we couldn't. There was too much time left.

Yes, the feeling was and still is  disappointment, but only because the Socceroo dared us to dream and for that we can only be thankful.

Bring on Spain.

* Michael Busija, who is Sebastopol Vikings coach in Football Fedreration Victoria state league 4, is in Brazil for the FIFA World Soccer Cup

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