France (1E) vs. Nigeria (2F). June 30th, 2014. Brasilia, Brasil.
The day we had been waiting in anticipation for months finally arrived. With a 1:00 pm start time local time, we woke up and headed off to the stadium (Estadio National).
Quick facts about Brasilia stadium courtesy of Wikipedia:
Max Capacity 69,349.
Second most expensive stadium in the world at 900 million USD.
Renovation was completed in 2013, in preparation for the World Cup matches.
We reached the stadium and saw crowds of people hanging out outside of the stadium, prepping for the match.
The number of French fans definitely outweighed the ‘true’ Nigerian supporters, as they were clad in the French red, white, and blue.
Face paint, masks, and odd hair pieces were only some of the best pieces of costume wear we noticed at the game. The best was definitely a Nigerian supporter wearing a Zebra costume in the stands.
After making our way into the stadium, we found our seats and took many pictures of the crowd and enormous stadium.
Our seat neighbors were a group of rowdy French supporters, chanting ‘Allez les blues” (Let’s go blues) for the majority of the match.
The first half was slow with both teams drawing to a 0-0 tie after 45 minutes. France picked up the pace in the second half to eventually firing in the go ahead goal in the 79′ minute. As expected, the crowd went crazy (!) and we were right there to join in with their French celebrations.
We even saw one guy climbs up the stands 5 – 10 rows to meet up with another French cheering section.
With a cheap second goal in extra minutes, France firmly secured a 2-0 final result to advance them to the Quarterfinal round (where they will await the fierce German squad).
The rest of our day was hanging out with the multitudes of football fans from all teams and parts of the world, enjoying the areas of downtown Brasilia and Pontao do Lago Sul (a very nice region of Brasilia alongside the Lakeshore with many restaurants and places to go out). After a very very long day, we made it back to our hotel room, packed, and were ready to head back to Sao Paulo.