Saturday, April 17, 2010

Soccer = Football

Ozzie, our friend and MAJOR soccer/football fan reminds us that the game is NOT called 'soccer' here...  it's football!  I guess we're still in the habit of calling it 'soccer' to make the difference between US football...very different games.

Anyways...  Rich is dictating the story and Nancy is typing... 

Rich's very first soccer (I mean football!) game!

Rich met the group at the Kookaburra Cafe (weaing his red Cuenca team shirt!) and they all headed out to the stadium.  Chris, of Kookaburra, got eveyone organized (including notifying Jason that he was wearing white, the opposing team color!  Jason did get a red shirt on the way...) 

This was a game between Quito and Cuenca. 19,000 fans were in attendance, mostly Cuencanos.  People of all ages...  a family affair! 
Unlike US sport prices, families can afford to from one of the 'scalpers' was about $15 for mid-range seats...there are cheaper tickets available, and more expensive, too.

When Cuenca's team scored in the last minutes, the crowd erupted!  Tied score, 1-1.
The game began at 6pm, and ended at 8pm...unlike US football games that can take several hours...

The small group of opposing team fans were 'banished' to lousy seats...and were 'allowed' to leave the game last, with police protection.  Refs (in lime green) are not well liked...they were escorted off the field by police (for their own protection).  Fans routinely throw stuff at the refs, so the police also protected them from flying objects.

Rich was surprised by the size of the players...Cuenca's team members were fairly small in stature, compared to the Quito team, who towered over Cuenca's. There were several casualties on the field and the injured were carried off on stretchers...more on the Cuenca side.

Will Rich go again?  You bet!

If you're interested in attending a future game and want some company, check in with Chris at the Kookaburra.  By the way, this is NOT a men's-only event!  Ladies are welcome, too. 

Here are more pics:

The infamous blow-up of the famous beer of Ecuador.  Looks like kids on stilts (?) as part of the Pilsener advertisement.

For another version of the game-night, see Jason/Donna's blog (link on the sidebar).

The guys had a great time!

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