Excitement for local soccer fans hit a fever pitch Wednesday as Canada’s men’s soccer team had its opening match in the FIFA World Cup after a multi-decade absence.
Hundreds of soccer fans crowded into the King’s Head Pub to cheer on Canada’s first match in Qatar 2022 against Belgium – the first World Cup match for Canada in 36 years.
“This is my first time cheering for Canada in the World Cup,” said Mike Deluca. “Usually I cheer for England or Italy – my mom’s from England, my dad‘s Italian – so usually I’m cheering for those teams. So, it feels great to cheer for Canada this time.”
Canada gave them a lot to cheer for, with multiple chances throughout the first half, including a penalty kick.
Melissa David is a soccer player herself, and said watching Team Canada compete at the highest level is a thrill.
“I think with their skill and the skills of the goalie, it’s just amazing to see. To watch it is just so much enjoyment,” she said.
Chris Graves, the owner of the pub, said the World Cup and Canada’s appearance has been fantastic for business. He said there have been crowds for the other matches, but the turnout for Wednesday’s match is the biggest of the World Cup so far, which he attributes to Canada playing.
“Packed man, it’s a packed house. It’s so much fun,” he said. “Daytime has been a real struggle for businesses in the downtown area. A lot of people are not back to work, so things like this really helps us out a lot.”
A win would have helped out the crowd, but alas it wasn’t meant to be. Canada would lose one-nil.
Still, Deluca said there is much to be happy and proud of.
“I think them being here, and them being part of this tournament just speaks volumes to what the team has been able to do.”
Despite the loss — the crowd was very positive. Many fans said Canada proved they belong on the world cup stage. Now they’re looking forward to Canada’s next match on Sunday against Croatia.
View original article here Source