After a day catching up with my sleep and getting my bearings Saturday was the first chance to get some proper game experience. First up was Uruguay vs Costa Rica and while i caught the majority of the first half in my hostel I missed the spectacular comeback by los Ticos. In the run up to the game I thought a lot of the media were discounting the Central Americans unfairly. They had had a strong qualifying campaign with fine results against the USA and Mexico and were always going to be more than wooden spoon certs. And so it proved to be with Costa Rica running out 3-1 winners to stun the Uruguayans. Cavani put the South Americans in front with a penalty in the first half but Costa Rica hit back after the break through Campbell, Duarte and Urena.
Before the game had even finished I had to make my way down to the fan fest and eventually to the Ivory Coast vs Japan game. I made the bus journey with a Welshman, an English man and a Swiss girl who were all eager to get to their first game and a good laugh. The fan fest was a couple of bars and food stands in front of a grand TV that had pockets of English and Italian fans waiting for their game.
ENGLAND 1 ITALY 2
The English went down to organised and efficient Italian but in my opinion were unlucky not to get a draw. As expected it was the English youngsters that really impressed with Henderson and Sterling running the wings well and Sturridge grabbing England’s equaliser after Italy had taken the lead.
The Italians sat back in the second half inviting England to come at them, soaking up the pressure and bursting on the break. In the fan fest some of the younger English fans were pissed as trouts and getting lairy, it wasn’t long before we had “your not singing any more” and the tell tale pisshead behaviour. The Italian fans duly responded with good natured banter watching their team grab the winner and hang on through some late English pressure. It teemed down with rain during the game so I scurried inside to escape the downpour so missed a bit of the match.