No matter what, Americans do love soccer, (or “European football”, or just “football” how people across the world usually call this game). And the last Saturday match became another striking demonstration of this fact. One of the most famous football teams in the world, Real Madrid, played in Philadelphia.
Two hours prior to the game lots of people crowded near the stadium, walking, eating, and chatting. And most of them were wearing Real Madrid t-shirts which made the crowd look almost all-white. It seemed that we were in Madrid and Philadelphia Union was a guest at this party.
About an hour before the game started, the entrance was opened and fans started to fill the beautiful stadium. By the way, the capacity of the Lincoln Financial Field is 76,000 seating places.
Fans equipped with cameras were trying to be as close to the field as possible, so they have occupied first rows, even if their sits were far away. They have been waiting for Madrid stars.
About 50 minutes before the game, the players of Philadelphia Union showed up on the field for a warm-up. However, Madrid team fans had to wait for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, some guys from Club Loge have been waving the flag of Barcelona, the bitter enemy of Real Madrid. Fans were warming up too (rather be said – they were trying to cool down in this true-Spanish temperature).
When Madrid players finally showed up on the field, stadium met them with a storm of yelling and clapping.
After a short warm-up the teams went to their locker-rooms to come back at 9 pm totally ready for the game. Ronaldo, Kaka and Pepe were in duffels, which meant that they would be seen on the field only in the second half.
These were the line-ups for the first minutes. Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Varane, Carvalho, Casado, Xabi Alonso, Granero, Ozil, Jese, Benzema, Callejon. Philadelphia Union: Mondragon, Williams, Califf, Valdes, Farfan, Mapp, Carroll, Nakazawa, Daniel, Le Toux, Ruiz.
On the 2nd minute of the game Real scored its first goal. It was absolutely unexpected to Philadelphia players. On the 10th minute Real scored again. Goal authors were Callejon and Ozil. It seemed that Real wouldn’t stop scoring, but ever after the game calmed down and became kind of even. There were some moments in first half near the goals for both teams, but they were not effective.
In the middle of the first half Ronaldo went to warm-up, and the whole tribune got up to take a picture of him. Almost the whole stadium has chanted “Real Madrid”, but most part of the game Union fans were louder and more organized.
In second half coaches have made some subs. The most important to fans was that Ronaldo, Kaka, Pepe and Abidal came in.
The game was still dynamic and interesting. Union had some advantage, but still no goals. Real played splendidly and showed that their level was sky-high. And when everybody thought the game would end with score 0-2, Union player Farfan (thanks to Mwanga’s pass) scored a nice goal on the 80th minute. Union had some chances in the last 10 minutes, but they were not successful.
The final whistle fixed the score Union 1 – Real 2. More than 57,000 people came to see this spectacular game, and left the stadium in real exitement. It has been a nice friendly game from first second to the last.