Canada versus Mexico soccer game attracts fans from all over the world

Over 54,000 soccer fans descended on BC Place Friday afternoon to watch Canada’s men’s soccer team face off against Mexico in a FIFA qualifying match.

Fans were being asked to arrive at the stadium with plenty of time ahead of the game

Mexican fans took pictures of each other and waived their home country's flag proudly. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC News )

Over 54,000 soccer fans descended on BC Place Friday afternoon to watch Canada's men's soccer team face off against Mexico in a FIFA qualifying match.

They were not shy about showing who they were cheering for. 

But Canada had a few supporters too.

Fans arrived from all over the place. Many drove from the U.S., mostly from Seattle, Oregon and California.  

Ary Rojas, 8, came with her parents from Seattle by car to watch the Mexico vs Canada FIFA qualifying game at BC Place. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC News )

Others flew in from Toronto and Mexico, taking advantage of the long weekend. 

This group of soccer fans drove from Oregon to watch the game. From left to right, Israel Vega, Jose Cruz, Julian Vega, Angel Ramos. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC News )

For some Mexican fans, watching their favourite soccer players up close was a dream come true. A few were even lucky enough to see the Mexican soccer players waive from their hotel-room balcony from across the street.

Masked 9-year-old Sebastian Cuesta holds the Mexican flag with his younger brother Patricio, 6. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC News )

Routine security 

Fans were being asked to arrive at the stadium with plenty of time ahead of the game due to routine security procedures.

"We do want to let fans know that for this event, there will be pat-down procedures at the gate, and that's why we're asking them to arrive early," said Duncan Blomfield, manager of communications for BC Place Stadium.

The line up for the match wrapped around the stadium Friday evening. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

The pat down and bag searches at the gate are policies the stadium implemented last year, and staff are well rehearsed on how to handle big events like this, said Blomfield.

BC Place hosted 60,000 fans last weekend for the Rugby Sevens World Series.

Tonight's game will be the second straight in Vancouver for the men's national team, with Toronto's BMO field being favoured as the usual home venue since 2007.

The games are part of the penultimate round of North American qualifying games for the 2018 FIFA World Cup hosted in Russia.

With files from Kamil Karamali


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