By Daniel Duchene. Respond on Twitter.
Day 12: What a mess…
Brazil played its second game on Tuesday, and things did not run all that smoothly.
- Set backs
After a rare day-off on Monday, we packed our bags and said our goodbyes early in the morning on Tuesday. Our flight to our next destination, Manaus, that was originally going to be on Wednesday, was changed to a few hours after Brazil’s second game, which put us in very a tight spot. We were going to have to carry our luggage all day as we were shooting, and from there, go straight to the airport.
Last Sunday, we spent the day at the suburb of Taboão, where we met our second character, Sr. Leandro. This kind 68 year-old man is a highly respected figure and has been coaching the neighborhood’s football team for over 30 years. He serves as a mentor to the children and teenagers of the community, offering them a way out of the life of drugs and crime. He has formed several players who play professionally today.
On Tuesday, we went back to his suburb to watch the second game of the Selecão. Most businesses in São Paulo released their employees at 12:00pm, so they could go watch the game. What a terrible mistake! The consequence was over 300km of traffic and most people having to listen to the game on the radio with no hopes of getting home in time. If they really wanted people to be able to watch it, they should have given them the entire day-off. As of for us, it took us 2:45 hours to get to our location that was only about 15km away…
- On location
Once there, we met up with the kids with whom we painted the streets on Sunday. They were all gathered with their friends and family at the community center where they had a small TV set and an improvised grill. In this particular neighborhood, most adults and teenagers were women, and it seemed like the game was primarily an excuse for them to get together more than actually watch the Seleçao play.
In the meantime, the other half of the team was at the central square of the Campo Limpo, only a few blocks away, where a few thousand were watching the game on a big screen. Usually known for being one of the most dangerous areas in São Paulo, the Taboão was quite peaceful that afternoon. That is, until the game was over, when we witnessed a robbery as we were driving up the street.
After the game, we all gathered where the party was only getting started. The children, timid at first, had already loosened up, and the girls were ready to start dancing to the sound of the dirty Brazilian Funk coming out of the ridiculously loud sound-system off a car’s trunk. It seemed like the theme of the party was loudness as the teenagers took out the exhausters of their scooters and started to ride around the neighborhood making as much noise as possible. Plus, the firecrackers were put to use since the community had stocked up in hopes of a game with many goals.
- The game
Brazil played against Mexico for the second game of the group stage and it was as messy as our day. With a win, Brazil would have qualified automatically to the round of sixteen.
Mexico started very strong from the beginning, dominating possession and surprising the hosts with a very fast pace. Whereas most Brazilians thought this was going to be an easy game, Mexico was committed to ruining the party.
The game ended in a tie with no goals, and even though Brazil had bigger chances of scoring, they could have easily lost the game as well. The Mexican goal keeper was definitely the man of the game providing his team with several miracle saves, although most of them were aimed right at him.
Overall, the result was not as bad as it seemed for the host nation that remains first of their group thanks to the goal differential obtained in the game against Croatia. But the Brazilian people are surely disappointed so far with the performance of their team.