Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 22nd 2014 Contents A68
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt June 22, 2014
Kids invade pitch as host train
Dozens of youngsters got past security and in-
vaded Brazil's training session yesterday.
It started when a handful of children jumped the
fence separating fans from the pitch at Brazil's camp
outside Rio de Janeiro. Security guards were not able
to contain them, and others quickly followed, easily
getting to the players as they finished practice.
Most of the players began heading to the locker
rooms, but some stayed to talk to the fans, many of
whom carried jerseys to get autographs and cameras
to take photos of their idols.
One girl hugged midfielder Willian and didn't let go
until a member of Brazil's delegation arrived to take
her back to where the other fans were located.
Brazil will play Cameroon tomorrow in Brasilia in its
final Group A match. The hosts need at least a draw
to advance to the second round.
Vegetarians, vegans and those Brazilians who go
gluten-free flock to popular Ser-Afim some 45 min-
utes outside Sao Paulo in the countryside just to eat
brunch or lunch.
Or, to cheer for Argentina. Owner Silvia Belton
Lopes is Argentinian. When Sergio Luiz showed up
sporting Argentine baby blue for the country's first
World Cup game, Belton Lopes made an offer: Come
back in gear again and be treated to a free lunch.
After lunch, Luiz and Suellen Varrabal moved next
door to watch Argentina's thrilling 1--0 victory over
Iran on Lionel Messi's stoppage-time goal at Belton
Lopes' husband's pizza place called Jao do Grao---of-
fering dessert pizzas named Michael Jackson, Barbie
and Willi Ronca, and a "Kung-Fu Panda" tomato sauce
pie with mozzarella, tomato sauce, alfalfa sprouts and
When Argentina scored, a small group of fans
waved a giant flag and jumped out of their seats,
Belton Lopes is well known for her generosity.
When the restaurant reopens in January after the
Christmas and New Year's holidays, she treats pa-
trons to meals when they come to the register to pay
after a meal.
Neymar to Massa
Brazilian Formula One driver Felipe Massa said he
got some extra motivation from Brazil striker Neymar
before winning the pole position for the Austrian
Grand Prix on Saturday.
"Just before I go to the car my son gave me a little
Neymar, a little one, so I bring the little one to the car
and I put on the side of my helmet. It was a nice feel-
ing," said Massa, who hadn't started from the pole
since 2008, when his son, four-year-old Felipe, had
not been born yet.
The Williams driver said he knows "there is a lot
going on in Brazil in this moment" because of the
World Cup, and he is paying attention even though
he's far away.
Massa twice won his home race, in 2006 and 2008,
when he drove for Ferrari.
Selfies, elaborate jokes, photo bombs involving his
squad's biggest stars and now exclusive team news.
Mexico's Miguel Herrera is not one of those national
team coaches afraid of Twitter.
In the past month, the 46-year-old former player
has seen the number of people following him on Twit-
ter more than double. On Friday, he revealed in a
tweet that he intends to use the same lineup for
Monday's crucial final group game against Croatia as
he did for the 0--0 draw with Brazil. Surely that will
add many more to the 619,000 people currently fol-
The man who generally goes by the nickname Piojo
(louse) has proved a hit on and off the pitch. He's set
an example for the relaxed atmosphere at Mexico's
base in Santos. Piojo has happily signed countless au-
tographs and posed for pictures---many of them des-
tined for social media---for the fans outside the team
RECIFE---Some wanted to
play soccer barefoot on the
beach with Brazilians, experi-
encing for themselves those
romanticised images they d
seen on TV. Others dreamed of
attending meaningful games in
the homeland of Pele, soaking
up the passion for the game
permeating not just the stadi-
ums, but every corner of every
If they could do that, maybe
tip back a few caipirinhas,
munch on coxinhas, take a dip
in the south Atlantic, and cheer
on the US national team, what
a trip it would be.
Brazil turned out to be the
perfect place for the travelling
American fan base to come into
its own at the World Cup---to
gather festively before games on
foreign soil and take over arenas
"Huge party! It was awe-
some," Miami resident Katie
McCrath said of a gathering
hosted by the booster club
American Outlaws before Mon-
day s tournament opener for the
US, a 2--1 triumph over Ghana
in Natal. "They filled the streets."
They filled a large part of the
"That was one of the really
neat things about the first
game---hearing the national
anthem and it almost feeling
like a home game," midfielder
Kyle Beckerman said as the US
prepared for its next match Sun-
day against Portugal in Manaus.
"Being far away and having all
those fans there for us was just
an amazing feeling."
South America s largest coun-
try is one in which influences
from Europe, Africa and the
Americas are mixed in a tropical
climate and on bountiful land
with stunning scenery. That
demographic, geographic and cul-
tural cocktail gives Brazil an exotic
appeal to travellers worldwide.
Guests at Brazilian hotels
often awake to breakfast spreads
of tropical fruit unavailable at
home. They curb mid-day
hunger with fried dumplings of
ground chicken called coxinhas
at snack huts by the beach, and
wash them down with caipir-
inhas, fruity cocktails featuring
cachaca, a fiery spirit made from
sugar cane juice.
Combine all that with Brazil s
renowned enthusiasm for "o
jogo bonito," or the beautiful
game, and the 2014 World Cup
becomes a two-for-one buck-
et-list opportunity for fans
across the globe. Americans have
seized it in force.
According to FIFA, more than
200,000 tickets for games in
Brazil were purchased by US res-
idents. While a chunk of those
residents surely have ancestry
in soccer-loving countries like
Mexico, that figure ranked sec-
ond among all nations world-
wide, behind only the host
The crowd in Natal was laced
with red, white and blue. Chants
of "I believe that we will win,"
a common US soccer cheer,
thundered throughout the arena.
The stars and stripes waved in
seemingly every section.
The US will play Portugal in
their second match today. A win
will put them into the second
US fans showing up in force
RIO DE JANEIRO---Blundering
Russia goalkeeper Igor Akin-
feev will get a second chance
at the World Cup today.
Coach Fabio Capello will stick
with his No 1 against Belgium
and give Akinfeev an opportu-
nity to redeem himself after his
glaring error gifted South Korea
a goal in the Russians Group H
In fact, Capello never thought
about dropping Akinfeev, he said
Saturday. The keeper let a weak
shot by Lee Keun-ho slip
through his hands and into the
net for the opener in the 1--1
draw on Tuesday.
"I had decided after the mis-
take already that Akinfeev would
stay because he s a great goal-
keeper," Capello said at Rio de
Janeiro s Maracana Stadium
through a translator. "I never
thought for one minute I would
change him ... He s one of the
best in the world."
Luckily for Akinfeev, Alexan-
der Kerzhakov rescued Russia
with a goal six minutes later.
While Capello backed the
CSKA Moscow keeper against
the Belgians at the Maracana,
captain and defender Vasily
Berezutsky had no special words
for club team-mate Akinfeev
straight after the slip in the 68th
minute against South Korea in
Lee Keun-ho s speculative
effort appeared to be easily cov-
ered by Akinfeev, until the ball
bobbled out of his hands, looped
back over his shoulder and
dropped into the goal. He col-
lapsed to the ground with his
hands covering his face.
"Everyone is prone to mis-
takes," Berezutsky said. "I told
him get up, let s not waste time,
we need to win this back . That s
all."Kerzhakov s equaliser par-
tially saved Akinfeev s blushes,
but Russia needs a victory
against Belgium to revive its
hopes of making the last 16 in
Belgium was highly impressive
in qualifying for the World Cup
and although it started slowly
to come from a goal down to
beat Algeria 2--1 in its opener,
it has a real attacking threat in
striker Romelu Lukaku and play-
maker Eden Hazard.
For skipper Berezutsky, Rus-
sia s shaky start against South
Korea was mostly down to
nerves. The country hadn t
played at the World Cup since
2002, and is therefore a squad
of first-timers on the big stage.
He thinks they ve settled now.
"If we take the first game,
there was an adrenaline factor
because no one has played at
this level before," Berezutsky
said. "Now everybody is calm
Capello backs blundering goalkeeper
RIO DE JANEIRO---As England
endures its worst World Cup
for more than 50 years, Wayne
Rooney wants his team-mates
to remember the pain of this
England is already out of con-
tention after losses to Italy and
Uruguay, its run lasting less than
a week. Not since 1958 had Eng-
land failed to make it to the sec-
ond round of a World Cup it
This is considered a debacle
in a country where expectations,
as the game s inventor and host
of the richest league, seemingly
surpass its football abilities.
With its only title coming at
the 1966 World Cup on home
soil, is there hope for the Eng-
"It s vital we take the pain we
are feeling now and remember
that and the next tournament
we don t want to feel that again,"
Rooney said Saturday.
But addressing the long-
term malaise will take longer.
A new crop of defenders can t
be produced in two years to
complement the young---at
players breaking into the
Football Association chairman
Greg Dyke spent months pro-
ducing a report which outlined
ways to ensure Premier League
teams are playing more Eng-
lishmen, but some of the plans
quickly unravelled and he wasn t
made available to the media on
Saturday as the scrutiny on the
national team intensified.
For now, with another game
in Group D still to be played
against surprise leader Coast
Rica on Tuesday, the squad can t
even escape Brazil. Instead,
Rooney, alongside goalkeeper
Joe Hart, led the public apologies
to the England fans who fol-
lowed them to South America.
"Obviously we are hurting,"
Rooney said. "We are really
disappointed to be out of the
tournament. I am sure you can
imagine it s quite tough, a long
few days for us ... but we have
to be strong together as a team.
We have to make sure we are
positive for the next game."
For Hart, England s 2--1 losses
in Brazil rank among his worst
moments in football. England s
early elimination was sealed by
Italy losing 1--0 to Costa Rica
"It s a strange empty feeling,"
Hart said. "This is ultimately
really cruel and gutting for me."
Rooney tells mates remember pain
A United States fan celebrates after the group G World Cup soccer
match between Ghana and the United States at the Arena das
Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Monday. The United States won the match
2--1. AP PHOTO
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