The top shelf of the bar at El Farolito Soccer Club is lined with trophies won by the team over the past 20 years or so. They must be nailed to the wood because that’s they only way they didn’t come crashing to the ground during Mexico’s dominating 2-0 victory over France Thursday in both countries’ second World Cup match.
There were whistles and horns and flags and songs and a couple of television crews. It was so loud
you couldn’t even hear the vuvuzelas.
To our left was an 86-year-old Nicaraugan with a firm handshake and a bottomless glass of vodka. He was looking for bets at the bar and was probably the only person rooting for France. I asked him why and he said that he’d lived in the U.S. since 1945, raised a family here. The United States is his team and that if everyone wants to support Mexico they should go back home. He also said that he’d been paying his bar tabs for 30 years by betting against Mexico. But he didn’t collect today.
To our right was an elegant 50-ish Guatemalan who looked like she was playing hooky from her job at the school library. In fact, everyone was playing hooky (or out of work) which added to the fun.
The announcers in Spanish also contributed to the atmosphere. ESPN made a great choice by using English announcers rather than Americans for their broadcasts but they are usually somewhat subdued. This guy, on the other hand, went 45 minutes without punctuation, sounding like a cross between an auction and a horse race.
With the taqueria shuttling burritos from next door it was a perfect day, the most fun of the tournament so far.
Capturing goals in real-time at a bar is next to impossible, unless it’s a penalty kick. Here is the goal that gave Mexico an insurmountable 2-0 lead.