Sunday, August 10, 2014

Brazil 2014 - Day 13 (6/25/2014) - Nigeria vs Argentina

Our Ibis hotel did not provide complementary breakfast (it was extra), so there was no reason to be up at any particular time that morning.  We both woke up around 9:30 and left the hotel about an hour later.  After walking around for a while in search of a place to have breakfast, we settled on Barbarella Bakery.  We both had the mushroom quiche and also shared some kind of orange pastry.  After eating we walked to a nearby taxi stand and took a taxi to the stadium, Estádio Beira-Rio.

Argentinian supporters outnumbered Nigerians about (if I had to guess) 50 to 1, and they were by far the majority there.  In contrast, the last 2 crowds at the Nigeria games had been mostly Brazilians.  The 1:00 match was the most entertaining of the 3 that we saw, with 5 goals scored between the 2 teams, and Messi (and Musa) working his magic.  Unfortunately, Argentina came out on top 3-2, but Nigeria still qualified for the knock-out stage.  Funnily, after the game I received quite a few offers from Argentinians to trade jerseys - it must have been over 15 by the time we left the stadium and surrounding area.  I also had 3 people offer to sell me a ticket to the round of 16 game (against France) - which I couldn't go to anyway, since I was returning to the States in a couple of days.

We next walked down to the nearby mall and snacked on pao de queijo and McD's ice cream.  Then we walked through the city in the direction of the hotel, stopping at Tapas Bar in a bohemian neighborhood to watch the 5 PM Group E match between France and Ecuador and split some falafel and some other Indian-inspired tapas.  After the goalless draw, we began walking toward the hotel by Parque da Redenção.  However, a kind stranger warned us that he had just witnessed a couple of guys get robbed in a poorly lit spot in the direction that we were headed.  Freaked out a bit, we turned around and began discussing alternate ways back.  After walking a few blocks in a roundabout direction, we decided to just take a taxi back to the hotel.

One additional note - despite being overcast all day, the rain never came while we were out, save for a very light and brief sprinkle in the evening.  It apparently did come during the night, though.

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