The 2014 Football World Cup that took place in Brazil seems like such a long time ago now, doesn’t it? With still a year to go until the 2016 Euro Cup, it is no wonder that I jumped at the opportunity to catch a football friendly between Brazil and Chile at the Emirates Stadium in London, home of the Arsenal football club.
Funnily enough, I’ve watched live football matches in Malaysia and Austria (twice), but never the UK, even though it’s arguably one of the countries most associated with football and where I now live permanently! Although this game didn’t feature England or any of the English Premier League teams, it’s not often that one gets the opportunity to watch the Brazilian football team live in action, so this was a great excuse to get some tickets and check the Emirates Stadium out in Arsenal.
But first, we had to battle travel chaos to get there. With works being done on the Victoria Line, the Piccadilly Line leading to Arsenal was chock-a-block with fans and spectators and it was a tiring and draining process to get to the Arsenal tube stop (the closest station to the stadium).
Our mood started to pick up once we saw sunlight again (albeit mostly behind clouds!) and could feel the atmosphere starting to build with the arrival of the fans.
Being stuck underground longer than planned meant that we missed the first few minutes of the event, with the players already out on the field and the Brazilian national anthem playing when we arrived.
We quickly settled into our seats however and were raring for kick-off and the game to commence, as were the rest of our neighbours…
Mostly everyone was in a good mood and we got a number of Mexican waves in when we felt that the game was lagging a little. 🙂
Both sides were fairly evenly matched throughout the game, with the Chilean side just edging ahead in my opinion. In the end however, Brazil didn’t disappoint and managed to sneak in a goal towards the latter stages of the second half.
A short time after that, there was then a bit of an interruption, with 3 men running across the pitch simultaneously (I’m assuming in a coordinated effort) resulting in a short amount of play stoppage. I think one of the men just wanted to get a feel of Neymar in the flesh.
Though ominous clouds were looming over the stadium for much of the match, the expected rain kept mostly away, with just a short-ish spell of downpour over half time. The unexpected event however, was a fight that broke out between a number of fans behind us, resulting in a bit of a brawl and the shameful security escort of the men involved out of the stadium.
The match was in its final throes by this time, with Brazil winning a free kick within scoring distance.
No such luck however, and the game ended 1-0 to Brazil. These guys were clearly happy about that result.
Game over, it was time to brave those crowds again, this time in the opposite direction.
It’s all been worth it though, as I can now finally say that I’ve caught a live football match in England (after 15 years!).