Vasco de Gama Futebol Clube was in full swing by 10 a.m. Monday in anticipation of Portugal’s World Cup face off against Germany.
Germany is favoured to win the Group G matchup, but anything can happen with Cristiano Ronaldo, the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year, on the pitch for Portugal. And it was no question that Portugal’s national pride dominates on James Street North.
If you feel a slight tremor this afternoon, it probably means they won. Joga Bonito!
Vasco’s owner Joe is dishing up free barbecue, and is expecting a full crowd.
“We will be drinking here, celebrating,” said local fan John Agostinho, sporting a red jersey like everyone else in the room. “If they win we go out in the street with the flags, ‘Bah Bah Bah!’ If they lose it’s quiet but we expect at least a tie.”
Agostinho, who said he lives in the north end of the city, didn’t expect football fan madness, saying the Monday 12 p.m. game time conflicted with a lot of work schedules.
“But I know one company, they don’t work today,” he said. “They do asphalt but they released all their employees so they could watch the game. They know some won’t show up anyway.
“These are the two best teams in the group,” Agostinho said of the two footballing giants. “Whoever wins today is a big step ahead.”
Germany has won nine of the 19 head-to-head matches between these two countries. Portugal has won three, and clearly Hamilton fans would love to notch up a fourth victory against Germany.
Scoring and speed are key for these two teams, which are full of players with both. Expect to see quick counter attacks throughout this match.
“We will fight to the end to achieve our first goal, which is to reach the knockout phase,” said Portugal manager Paulo Bento.