This should be my last report from Brazil since we will be heading home tomorrow night for another one of those overnight flights. This has been an unbelievable trip in a lot of good ways, but Brazil may be catching us economically, but this place is still a third world life.
Today we arrived at 6 AM at Rio airport and checked in to the hotel in Copacabana that we had paid for for last night and tonight. It was worth it to be able to check into a room at 7 AM to sleep a few hours. By 11:30 we were meeting Mauricio and his family for a lunch barbecue at his mother-in-law’s penthouse condo.
Spectacular home for everything else we have seen here. They even had a small pool on the roof, but it was not full because it is winter and only 90 degrees.
Anna’s brother grilled out with many different kinds of meats and they added some rice and a kind of potato salad. I was still fading from not enough sleep, but made it to half-time of the Brazil vs Chile game before I had to go to the hotel, just around the corner, to sleep some more. I slept away the second half and overtime, but woke up for the PKs.
Thank goodness Brazil pulled it out or this whole place would have been in mourning. As it was the fireworks made it sound like Da Nang at Tet ‘68.
The Brazil team sure had a number of chances to win it earlier and after multiple reruns, I am still not sure that Ref Howard Webb made the right call on Hulk’s “hand ball” goal when he trapped the ball with his shoulder/arm.
Of course Chile scared them when they hit the cross bar with a laser that a few inches lower would have won it for them. After the Brazil game on TV we were off to the Colombia v Uruguay game. Mauricio has a friend who is a taxi driver and he took us within a block of the stadium and picked us up there after the game too. Thank you for the taxi driver named Jehovah. He has also agreed to take us to the airport tomorrow.
Our seats at the game came through friends in Hillsborough and they turned out to be about six rows from the field so we had a great view of the players. The higher seats give a better perspective of the overall play, but down low, you can really see the players.
This game seemed much faster than what we have been seeing. The players were at full speed and flying into tackles too. Both of the goals for Colombia came from James Rodriguez, who has 5 goals in four games so he is well on his way in the competition for the golden ball for the Cup high scorer.
Colombia really looked strong at every position. Uruguay gave them a good match, but without the suspended Luis Suarez, they lacked any real scoring punch. After the game the Brazilian fans were teasing those from Uruguay unmercifully about losing out and about Suarez.
We heard one group taunting another with a version of “Who let the dogs out” converted to “Who let the Suarezout?”. All in English. The Brazilian fans should have been cheering for Uruguay since they play the winner in the next round, but Uruguay beat Brazil in the final in 1950 and they can not let it go.
Attendance at Maracana stadium was announced as 75,454. It was big, but hard to imagine the old one that held 200,000 people.
Tomorrow we start early to climb up to the Christ The Redeemer statue overlooking the area, then go to the FIFA site to try to get our U.S. second round tickets so we can give them to Mauricio to try to find someone to buy them. But the game is Tuesday and three hour flight away from Rio. We could hope for some luck and find some US fans looking for tickets.
Then we are planning a feajao “feshjao ” with Mauricio’s family for their typical Sunday outing together, watch the Mexico v Holland game then leave for the airport one more time.
Hope to see you soon and hope I am over this flyers flu by then.