After a Day of sightseeing, we made it back to hotel to watch poor England. Now do you believe that Luis Suarez of Uruguay and club team at Liverpool is a scoring genius. He just knows how to be in the right place to score.

By the way, it is winter here and gets dark about 5:15 pm. Feels weird, especially when the temperature is in the 80′s here by day and 70′s by night. Another unimportant fact is that we spell Brazil with a Z , but they spell Brasil with an s.

Great for England that Rooney finally broke his Cup jinx and scored his first World Cup goal in this, his third cup.
Guess you noticed England is now Nike too. I don’t know what kind of knee surgery Luis Suarez had less than three weeks ago, but a few more people might need one of those.

I know most people who don’t ref soccer have trouble understanding the offside foul and when it is called. I think in Suarez’s second goal that he was in an offside position, behind the England defense, but the ball was not passed to him by a player on his team, but was headed to him accidentally by an English defender so he could not be offside on a ball played by the other team.

Now I don’t understand the Portuguese announcers here and I have not seen a rerun of it, but that is what I thought happened when it looked like he was off on the shot. This game had everything to entertain and those hockey fans even got to see the keeper come out to try a last ditch chance at a header by the tallest player on the pitch.

Guess the after game-replay showed that Steven Gerrard, longtime captain of England, and Liverpool teammate of Suarez was the one who headed the ball back that went to Suarez to score the winner. Wow!

Game day in Recife, Brasil (Costa Rica vs. Italy). After breakfast in the hotel of corn flakes, which were not “Fritos” like I got one time in China. They are not very good with milk you might know. We left by taxi about 9 AM to go to the Mall where we purchased $20 round trip bus ride to the stadium.

Reggie brought a six pack from the grocery store on the bus. He bought me a bottle of water in the mall coffee shop. There are several brands of Brazilian beer, but all seem to be pilsner type like Bud light beers. They don’t seem to have Diet Coke at all. So far only Coke Zero or Pepsi Light. Bud and Coke are Cup sponsors so once at the stadiums that is all that is sold. It took awhile in the mall before we were smart enough to ask where the bus was. Typically the bus was not at the entrance where they sold the tickets, but around at the next entrance.

They had Disney like lines winding into the bus, but we got right on after they checked that we had game tickets. They put blue paper bracelets on us to help us get back to the right bus after the game. The trip took about an hour. We left the city and went over some hills that were forested with mostly scrub and their version of kudzu. The stadium was built in a valley several miles from anything else.
Everyone arriving at the stadium was in a festive mood. Many were painted in their team colors or wearing all kinds of colorful attire.

It felt like there were many more “Ticos” there than Italians, but a number of Brazilians were wearing Italian shirts. Part of that was to support Italy, but even more just wanted to get into the game by supporting one of the teams and Costa Rica shirts are just not readily available in the stores. They are wearing Lotto brand. I know I told you before to watch the sponsor battle for team gear. The rules make all of the players wear the team sponsored uniforms, except for the shoes. Most of the players a professional players in countries all over the world and lots of them have individual sponsors so they ar the shoes that sponsor them.

For several years they have made shoes in a wide variety of colors and many players like the brightest colors of yellow and orange they can find. This year, the newest thing seems a throwback to high top shoes. So far the upper part appears to be more like an attached sock that is the same color and attached to the shoe.

We arrived at the stadium about 10:30 and it had opened at 10, three hours before game time. We stayed outside about an hour visiting with people and buying more drinks from the outside vendors which were cheaper than once you get inside. Once we entered through security you had to stay until you were leaving.

Among greatest seats I ever had. We were on row C on the side at one end that turned out to be the end where the only goal was scored. If you watched the game, you might have seen us on TV because a number of corner kicks were taken right below us, but three guys from Canada were sitting in front of us and they stood up and held a Canadian flag every time the TV came our way. We were sitting right in front of the large Tico cheering section so we were cheering along with them on every play. It was a 1- 0 game, but very exciting because the Cinderella team underdog was beating one of the giants and their fans were into every move on the field.

It was really hot and sunny. The South African man sitting next to me shared some sunscreen. Remember it is winter here.

The bus return was quicker than going and only took 30 minutes. We watched France obliterate Switzerland 5 to 2 with another scored at the end that did not count in the mall before going back to the hotel to rest. Dinner tonight was another version of buffet. Not nearly the great food of the other night, but many different dishes ala Tapinyaki, but there was live music. Hard to believe that the lead instrument in the band seemed to be the triangle. Think about tapping that out

Tomorrow we are back to the airports to go to the Amazon for our U.S. game with Portugal  in Manaus.

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